Viridor has invested £4.5 million in a leachate extraction system at its Dimmer Landfill site in Somerset.
The waste management company said the initiative would help to avoid approximately 2,000 articulated tanker movements to the site every year and ensure that Environment Agency discharge compliance requirements to the River Cary are met.
Project team members Mike Denman (Dimmer leachate treatment plant project manager), Robin Shirley (leachate control and treatment manager) and Rob Hawkins (landfill operation manager – south) said work on the plant began in April 2018 and the facility became operational in August 2019.
In a joint statement, they said: “The new Dimmer Leachate Treatment Plant is the most advanced leachate treatment facility in the UK. Cutting edge technologies include a biological, chemical and physical treatment process incorporating nanofiltration and activated carbon filtration.”
Viridor explained that Nanofiltration is an “extremely sophisticated treatment process” which sees liquid pass through pores the width close to that of a single strand of DNA.
Material removed by the plant is fed through activated carbon filters, with the spent carbon returned to the manufacturer where it is reprocessed or reused.
Around £1 million of the investment funded an improved leachate extraction system which allows the efficient removal of leachate from the landfill site for subsequent treatment.
Somerset Waste Partnership MD Mickey Green said: “By both cutting vehicle movements and improving environmental management, Viridor – as Somerset Waste Partnership’s residual waste treatment contractor – is investing in a sustainable future and ensuring innovative and responsible long-term care of a landfill site that has served Somerset’s needs for decades.”
Dimmer Landfill Site is due to close to active waste deliveries early in the new year in line with the commissioning of Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre. Restoration of the landfill site will be followed by a 60-year aftercare period during which the site will continue to produce leachate at an anticipated rate of close to 25 million litres per year.