Waste firm Waste Recycling Group has submitted a planning application to North Yorkshire County Council for permission to develop two leachate treatment lagoons at Allerton Park landfill, near Wetherby.
WRG, who operate the Allerton Park site, are seeking to develop an on-site lagoon system to treat leahcate the polluted water that collects at the bottom of every landfill.
The treated water will then be used to irrigate plantations of willow which will be harvested and used as a fuel in biomass power stations in order to generate renewable energy.
WRG development project manager Dave Molland said: All landfill sites generate leachate as the rainwater that seeps through the deposited waste becomes contaminated. If leachate isnt managed effectively it can cause damage to the local environment.
The usual ways to deal with leachate are to discharge it directly to an appropriate sewer, treat it in a special on-site facility or send it by road tanker to treatment facilities further away. There is no suitable sewer discharge at Allerton Park and it is expensive to build an on-site plant. Its also expensive to regularly tanker the leachate off-site and this can also cause environmental impacts because of the road transport involved. Our own technical assessments show that the lagoon and irrigation system is the most appropriate treatment option for this site.
The leachate treatment process at Allerton Park will involve creating two separate lagoons on the site. Leachate levels in the primary lagoon will be maintained consistently throughout the year, with the excess being transferred to the secondary lagoon where it will receive further treatment. Levels in the secondary lagoon will fluctuate during the year reducing during the spring and summer as a consequence of irrigation and then recovering over winter.