The plants, which will cover the five treatment methods of gasification, in-vessel composting, mechanical biological treatment (MBT), anaerobic digestion, and aerobic digestion, are due to all be up and running by April 2008.
Two of the projects, the Bioganix in-vessel composting plant in Leominster and the Greenfinch anaerobic digester in Ludlow, are already at operational stage. While the Cambridgeshire-based ADAS/Envar in-vessel composting plant and Premier Waste aerobic digestion plant in Durham, are due to be operational by April 2007.
The Novera gasification plant in Dagenham, Energos gasification plant on the Isle of Wight, Yorwaste gasification plant at Seamer Carr in Scarborough, Compact power gasification plant at Avonmouth, and Fairport Engineering MBT plant in Merseyside should be operational by April 2008.
Head of New Technologies Dave Brooks said the aim was for the scheme to be completed by April 2009, so that all of the plants would have been operational for at least a year allowing for full assessment and reporting of their success or failure.
The Demonstrator Programme aims to prove, or disprove, the economic, social and environmental viability of the selected technologies, with visitor centres built-in to allow for those in local authorities and the waste sector to learn more about them.
If we can get as many of the demonstrators running by 2009 then we have achieved our aim of getting them in place before the 2010 targets, Brooks said. He added that it was not the aim for the demonstrators to achieve the 2010 landfill diversion targets, which are relying on recycling and the procurement of alternative landfill technologies such as MBT, composting and incineration.
The 2013 targets would be a more realistic goal for the demonstrator projects to aim for. The demonstration plants that are up and running now could make a big impact before 2010 and there is no reason to stop them from contributing to the UK landfill diversion targets. But they are not solutions as yet they are still being trialled and demonstrated, he added.