The 85,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) was officially opened in March 2016, close to the Peterborough Power Station in Fengate. The ERF enables the City of Peterborough to divert 85,000 tonnes of residual (black bag) waste from landfill each year, for the next 30 years, recovering vital energy, and also offering the city another important step towards a decentralised energy network, with a generating capacity of 7.25 megawatts (enough to power 16,000 homes).
The state-of-the-art plant is one of the most efficient in the UK and will reduce the amount of carbon the city produces by 10,000 tonnes per year, making a significant contribution to a more sustainable Peterborough.
Construction work started in the summer of 2013 and the facility was completed in December 2015. During the construction period alone over £9.8m was spent in the immediate vicinity of the facility, and local supply chain opportunities will continue during the operational life of the facility.
During the facility’s operational life the partnership between Peterborough City Council and Viridor sees the revenue produced from the treatment of residual waste being delivered to Viridor, with the income generated through the sale of the electricity reverting back to Peterborough City Council.
And because of this innovative partnership the ERF has been shortlisted for a number of awards including being the runner up at the Public Sector Sustainability Awards 2016. Councillor Gavin Elsey, Cabinet member for Digital, Waste and Street Scene added: “It is fantastic to see the ERF facility being recognised at such a high level and is testament to the great work that Viridor and Peterborough City Council are producing. Being shortlisted for this award really showcases that Peterborough, as one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, is being acknowledged for future proofing the way it’s waste is managed. Rather than sending waste to landfill, it will be turned into electricity saving the city £1 million every year for the next three decades.”
Viridor is supporting the Circular Peterborough initiative, encouraging collaborative working across the city to maximise the lifecycle of products and services, driving greater resource productivity, reducing environmental impact and addressing declining natural resource issues in the future.
The Circular Peterborough Commitment sets out an approach; rethinking, redesigning, repairing, reusing, remanufacturing recycling and recovering products and services – the 7 R’s which enables the city to make the most of local resources, support economic resilience, develop strong communities and increase environmental sustainability. The ERF in Fengate forms the cornerstone of more resource efficient thinking and Viridor’s partnership with Peterborough City Council is helping to put residual non-recyclable waste to good use.
Paul Rowland, Regional Manager for Viridor (in the middle of the picture) added of the commitment: “Peterborough is at the forefront of developing a more resource efficient UK. As a city we must look to reduce the amount of waste we produce, recycle as much as possible and then at the Energy Recovery Facility we work closely with Peterborough City Council to transform what residents throw away in their bins into powering homes in the city along with supporting local businesses to divert waste away from landfill. By committing to the Circular Peterborough initiative we will be able to support the City as it grows in the future developing a more resilient and successful place to live.”