The operator of the lakeside energy from waste (EfW) plant near Slough has applied to alter the permit for the 450,000 tonnes per year capacity plant, to allow it to process some hazardous waste.
Published for consultation by the Environment Agency on 28 October, the permit submitted by Lakeside EfW says the variation will enable the processing of hazardous tobacco waste seized by HMRC, as well as bagged clinical waste.
Lakeside EfW, a joint venture between Grundon and Viridor to run the plant, is proposing it be allowed to accept up to 6,900 tonnes of contraband tobacco waste and 13,800 tonnes of clinical waste per annum.
The application is currently open for consultation until the 25 November 2020.
A supporting information document for the application described it as a “substantial variation” because more than 1.5% of waste will have the “potential to be hazardous”.
The document added that the proposed changes “would not lead to any significant environmental effects”.
Under the proposed permit alterations, tobacco waste will arrive at the facility during scheduled delivery slots and will be weighed upon arrival. Staff will check the schedule for the week to confirm that a hazardous waste delivery is expected.
A bunker door will also be chosen for the tobacco that has a level between 1-3m below the slope to allow clear access.
Tobacco waste which arrives in bales will not be accepted at the facility, and will be transferred off site.
It is proposed that the facility receives 3 deliveries of clinical waste per day, each containing approximately 2,300 yellow and orange bags, weighing up to 2kg.
The maximum amount of clinical waste to be received each day will be 5% of the daily waste capacity, which is approximately 30 tonnes each day. There will be no clinical waste stored at the facility.
The document added that it is “not anticipated that the direct feed of clinical waste into the furnace will upset the combustion confusion in the process” and “the clinical waste will be within the range that the bolt is designed to process”.
Lakeside was handed over to Grundon and Viridor in 2010, and manages waste from 10 local authorities, including Slough borough council, West London Waste Authority, and RE3.
On its tenth anniversary in February this year, it was recorded that it had turned 4.5 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste into three million megawatts of energy.