The progress of a £50 million waste EcoParc can be seen next to the River Tyne as the steel framework rises from the bank.
Work on the Gateshead-based autoclave facility started in June 2008 and the plant is expected to be operational in autumn 2009. Household, industrial and commercial wastes will be sterilised and stabilised by the steam autoclaving system in a series of large vessels. The system will be capable of treating 320,000 tonnes of solid wastes, and will divert more than 80% of input wastes from landfill.
Graphite Resources director William Thompson said: Our EcoParc will help to reduce our carbon footprint and produce a useful, recycled product at the end of the sterilisation and sorting process. This project has already received widespread national interest and is set to further strengthen the regions credentials in developing environmental technologies.
The company plans to use the Gateshead EcoParc as a blueprint for all future sites. Thompson said: We aim to develop one of the leading EcoParcs in Europe, in terms of quality environment and technology as well as creating substantial employment for the long-term benefit of a local workforce.
Image: The steelworks at Derwenthaugh EcoParc in Gateshead