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The UK can use resources wisely

With Government targets to recycle 50% and recover 25% of municipal waste by 2020, pressure has increased on local authorities to find effective ways to meet these targets and investigate new ways to divert waste from landfill.

Earlier this year, a significant partnership was formed to develop a £500m eco-park in the north west of England. The partnership, Ince Park LLP, will develop the park and help local authorities to reach their ambitious recycling and recovery targets at the same time as providing a blueprint for future sustainable waste and energy management - an exciting project.

The partnership is between energy-from-waste (EfW) operator Covanta Energy and property developer Peel Environmental. The partnership will deliver the investment to the north west and, on completion, Ince Park will be the UK’s largest resource recovery park. Construction of Ince Park is due to start in 2011, giving the region’s economy a much-needed boost, with several hundred construction jobs being created during the three-year construction period. And it is expected that 1,000 full-time jobs will be created when the Eco Park is fully operational.

The job creation will be a positive effect of the project, but the eco-park will also increase waste recycling, reprocessing and energy recovery. Growing pressure on councils to find alternative ways to dispose of municipal waste means that constructing a resource recovery park in a good location is a commercially viable and environmentally sensible option.

The park’s location makes it suitable for tenants looking for easy access to national transport links. Transport links include Manchester Ship Canal’s deep water berth, for access to international sea shipping routes, inland waterways and access to the national rail system. Ince Park is located two miles from the M56. The north west of England is home to many companies operating in the waste management, renewable energy, petro-chemical, nuclear, engineering and manufacturing sectors. It is these companies that Covanta and Peel Environmental are targeting to occupy the park. Ince Park can accommodate large- scale requirements, with up to 80 acres of land available for businesses in the waste and environmental sectors looking to relocate. Energy that does not get distributed to the national grid will be redeployed to the park at reduced rates for tenants.

US firm Covanta is an internationally recognised owner and operator of large-scale EfW and renewable energy projects. UK projects in the pipeline include the construction of the Rookery South resource recovery facility in Stewartby, Bedfordshire.

Covanta will design, build, own and operate the EfW facility at the heart of Ince Park. The facility will turn municipal and commercial waste into heat and up to 95MW a year of electricity. The plant is designed as a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which means it will be able to create heat, steam and electricity.

In comparison with older power stations, CHP provides 80% efficiencies as well as lower electricity and heating costs, while making a significant contribution to sustainable energy goals in the UK. The heat and steam will be used to power neighbouring developments in the eco-park such as recycling and reprocessing of goods, all with the goal of minimising landfill utilisation. The electricity will be supplied to adjacent industrial uses and the balance will be exported to the national grid.

If projects like Ince Park continue to be developed, the UK will be well on its way to meeting the Government’s landfill diversion objectives by 2020.

Malcolm Chilton is managing director of Covanta Energy

For further information see:


“Ince Park offers businesses in the resource and recovery sectors a great opportunity to locate to a site which works in union with every operation in the eco-park, contributing to objectives of using resources more wisely and thinking about the UK’s sustainability.”
Peel Environmental director Myles Kitcher

“We need to make more careful use of the Earth’s resources. I believe we should make efficient use of the waste that remains after recycling and maximise our renewable resources. This will enable us to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, using our precious mineral resources in a responsible manner and only as part of a balanced energy policy.”
Peel Environmental chairman Owen Michaelson

“By combining the strengths of Peel Environmental and Covanta Energy, we will provide an environmentally beneficial and economical method for dealing with residual waste.”
Covanta European president Scott Whitney


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