Waste treatment and renewable energy firm Sterecycle has received planning permission from Essex County Council to develop a recycling and biomass combined heat and power (CHP) facility in Harlow.
The combination of facilities will see 240,000 tonnes of unsorted household and commercial waste from the local area recycled to generate power.
Sterecycle development director Alistair Shotliff said: “There is a pressing need for waste treatment facilities in this area and this has been acknowledged by the planning authority. Sterecycle offers local authorities and businesses a solution to the rising landfill tax, and an environmentally acceptable way of diverting biodegradable waste from landfill without relying on mass burn incineration.”
First the waste will be put into an autoclave, which will help to sort the materials. Recyclables will be picked out and transferred to the materials recycling facility situated on the same site. The organic matter from the waste will then be used to power the CHP plant, while the remaining waste is to be sent for incineration. Electricity generated will be exported to the national grid and will also supply the total energy needed to run the site.
According to Sterecycle, 70% of the waste can be recovered and reused.
In addition, because of increasing demand from local authorities and commercial customers, the company is going to double the existing capacity at its Rotherham, South Yorkshire, facility, seeing it treat 200,000 tonnes each year.
The company is now looking for further funding to secure the construction of the Harlow facility. It is expected to begin once the expansion at Rotherham has finished in mid-2011.