Planning has been approved for organics recycling firm Biowise to develop an in-vessel composting facility near Crewe, to process up to 75,000 tonnes per annum of food and biodegradable waste.
The facility at Leighton Grange will manage around 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of commingled kerbside material and green waste from civic amenity sites in East Cheshire. The remainder will be sourced from other local authorities and commercial businesses.
Biowise, based in Hull, secured a 15-year deal with Cheshire East council earlier this year to provide a composting plant to process food and garden waste from the authority’s 370,000 residents (see letsrecycle.com story).
According to the council, the plant will make it possible for food across the whole of Cheshire East to be recycled for the first time from summer 2019. Latest figures have revealed that Cheshire East is recycling more than 55% of waste compared with less than 17% almost a decade ago, the council said.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We are delighted that Biowise has come up with an efficient, sustainable and low-cost solution to recycle food waste. They have done a great job in successfully satisfying the strict planning application requirements.
“This new composting plant will process food and garden waste together and will help us to further improve our recycling rates, which are currently better than the majority of councils across England. We are determined to further improve these rates so that we are among the very best in the country. We look forward to working with Biowise and building a strong partnership into the future.”
Cheshire East is keeping its three bin system with waste being collected fortnightly within the garden waste bin. Once completed next year, food and garden waste will be processed at the new six acre composting plant.
The facility will use a mixture of in-vessel composting (IVC) in a purpose-built building, followed by external aerated stabilisation using static windrows.
It is anticipated that 96% of the waste will be recycled into compost. All other outputs including compost oversize and leachate will either be reprocessed, recycled or sent off site for to an appropriate waste management facility.
At present, the council’s arm’s-length organisation, Ansa, collects only green waste from households and HWRCs which is composted. Food waste is disposed of in the black residual bin, the majority of which is sent for energy from waste, and a small amount to landfill.
“The development of this advanced composting facility represents the culmination of a two-year process of careful design and negotiation with Cheshire East Council officers and their advisors.Bob Wilkes
Bob Wilkes, operations and development director for Biowise, said: “The development of this advanced composting facility represents the culmination of a two-year process of careful design and negotiation with Cheshire East Council officers and their advisors.
“Through this forward thinking and collaborative process, Cheshire East Council is providing a long-term, environmentally-friendly solution to their residents, utilising state-of the-art technology to produce a fantastic quality assured PAS 100 compost product from mixed garden and food waste.
“We are delighted to be a part of that process and excited about the prospect of working together in the future.”
In 2015, Biowise developed a similar IVC facility at its own site in Eppleworth, near Hull, which now handles up to 75,000 tonnes of garden and food waste produced annually by households in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire (see letsrecycle.com story).
The facility utilises the Dutch ‘Gicom’ technology, on which the new site in Leighton Grange will be modelled.