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Ardley ERF recognised for contribution to Oxfordshire’s landscape

11th November 2016

The Viridor Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Ardley, Oxfordshire, was recognised last week at the annual Oxford Preservation Trust awards for its contribution to serving the residents of Oxford and the wider county along with its unique design inspired by the history of the surrounding Oxfordshire landscape.

In its 39th year the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards aim to highlight the quality and variety of building projects taking place across Oxfordshire. Viridor supported Oxfordshire County Council in preparing the application as the ERF was pitted against a host of University buildings, churches and renovated domestic properties. The award panel were highly impressed with the design of the ERF tying into the surrounding landscape along with the subtle reference to the ancient dinosaur activity on the site. From the air the facility resembles a footprint, and this legacy is carried through to a 15 foot ‘megawattasaurus’ model dinosaur made from re-used materials standing proudly in the reception.

The Ardley ERF was completed in 2014 and works around the clock to put Oxfordshire’s non-recyclable household and business waste to good use transforming it into enough renewable energy to power around 38,000 homes. Vehicles carrying waste from households across Oxfordshire arrive at the facility and tip their waste into a bunker where it is mixed and large cranes feed five tonnes of waste at a time into the energy recovery process. Steam is produced to drive a turbine which generates electricity and a highly specialised flue gas treatment process ensures the ERF meet stringent environmental standards.

Richard Pennells, Managing Director for Viridor’s Energy Division said of the award: “We are absolutely delighted that the Ardley ERF has been recognised at this year’s Oxford Preservation Trust Awards in the New Building category. The awards are very well respected in Oxfordshire and there was a particularly strong field. Every day the team at Ardley is transforming waste into vital renewable energy to help keep the lights on in Oxfordshire and it is testament to the ERF and our partnership with Oxfordshire County Council that this vital piece of social infrastructure could be recognised.”

County councillor David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member for environment at Oxfordshire County Council added: “This award is something to be celebrated. In 2007 Oxfordshire County Council set out its vision to divert household waste away from landfill and be able to recover energy from this material as well as further boost the county’s already successful recycling rates. Whilst the award recognises how the building complements the Oxfordshire landscape and makes reference to the dinosaur footprints on the site, this facility offers a vital and safe service to all residents in Oxfordshire.”

Debbie Dance, Director of the Oxford Preservation Trust spoke about living in Oxfordshire: “We are all so lucky to live in this great city and the Awards are our favourite annual Oxford Preservation Trust event. Now in their 39th year, they are our way of recognising the projects that make such a positive contribution to Oxford, and some of the skilled craftsmen (people) behind them.”

Image caption: L-R: Andrew Turner (Viridor Communications Manager), Cllr Nimmo-Smith (Oxfordshire County Council), Richard Pennells (Viridor Managing Director – Energy) and Andrew Pau (Oxfordshire County Council Head of Waste Management) receive the award on behalf of the Ardley ERF.

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