Resource management company SITA UK has begun producing solid recovered fuel (SRF) at a £7m facility in Birmingham city centre.
The SRF plant, based at Landor Street, will take some 100,000 tonnes of commercial waste arisings from across the city each year.
The waste will be transformed into ‘Climafuel’, a trademarked alternative to coal, to be used by CEMEX, one of the world’s largest cement producers. Cemex has been buring Climafuel at its Rugby kiln since 2007, but the opening of the new Birmingham plant provides a local source of the SRF.
To make Climafuel, metals, plastics and paper are sifted out of the waste for recycling. Anything with a high water or chlorine content, which would harm the cement-making process, is also removed. The resulting “confetti-like” flakes have a high calorific value. The fuel is then analysed using infra-red technology to make sure it meets the standards required by CEMEX.
Any waste not meeting these requirements can be used as refuse derived fuel (RDF) elsewhere.
SITA UK’s general manager of material sourcing Ben Harding said: “Our partnership with CEMEX to supply the Rugby kiln with a specialist fuel made from waste that can’t reasonably be recycled is providing a cost-effective, greener and cleaner solution to two problems – reducing landfill and preserving fossil fuels.”
Ian Southcott, UK Community Affairs Manager for CEMEX, said: “We have been successfully burning Climafuel at Rugby since 2007 and during that time we have been steadily increasing the proportion we use.
“At the moment, we source Climafuel from a number of plants around the UK and to be able to secure supplies locally genuinely provides a local solution to the local problem of how best to utilise the waste that the community generates.”
A second facility producing Climafuel is planned to be opened at Malpass Farm, next to the Rugby cement works, by the end of 2014. Combined, the two plants will produce around 250,000 tonnes of Climafuel a year.