Suez and Cornwall council officially opened the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre last week.
Representatives from Cornwall council and SUEZ were joined by members of the community for the official opening on 15 June.
The facility, located at St Dennis, started operating in March 2017. It will recover energy from residual waste, and use it to create enough electricity to power the equivalent of 21,000 homes each year, according to Cornwall council.
Cornwall county council entered into a long-term Integrated Waste Management Contract with Cornwall Energy Recovery Ltd – a company formed to construct and operate the facility on behalf of the authority – in 2006 (see letsrecycle.com story). The contract, which is being delivered by Suez, will run until 2039. It includes the management of all Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in Cornwall, as well as the management of the two Materials Recovery Facilities (Pool and Bodmin).
In 2013, letsrecycle.com reported that the EfW would have the capacity to process up to 240,000 tonnes of waste per year (see letsrecycle.com story).
The opening event showcased some of the projects that were awarded grants by the St Dennis and Nanpean Community Trust. Established to serve the communities around the energy recovery centre the trust receives a percentage of the revenue from the energy generated by the facility together with funding from Cornwall Council.
To date over £370,000 have been awarded to local community projects, the council said.
To mark the occasion, the winners of a competition for school children around Cornwall, to design and make an insect or bird house from reused or recycled materials, were presented with their prizes.
At the event Suez and Cornwall council also announced the publication of ‘Managing Cornwall’s household waste’ – the first annual report on how the organisations are working together towards the priorities laid out in Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy.
The report looks at initiatives from the past year that are helping Cornwall to reuse and recycle more of its waste and preserve its natural environment. The report outlines the commitment from Suez and Cornwall council to continue working towards a cleaner, greener Cornwall, they said.
Sue James, Cornwall council portfolio holder for environment and public protection said: “Thank you to Cornwall Energy Recovery Limited, Suez and the other partners, contractors and sub-contractors who have worked together to deliver the facility, which has now had a successful first year of operations.
“We can celebrate that most of our residents’ household waste left over after all efforts have been taken to reduce, reuse and recycle is now used effectively – as a fuel to safely and sustainably generate a huge amount of electricity which is exported to the National Grid.”
David Palmer-Jones, chief executive for Suez recycling and recovery UK said: “We are delighted to this week celebrate the official opening, and first year of successful operations, of the Wilton and Cornwall facilities. Complex infrastructure projects like these require the skills and dedication of many people to make them a reality, but equally the vision of politicians who are entrusted by their constituents to provide long term stable solutions for the waste generated.”