Recycling plant’s power milestone

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WORLD leading state-of-the-art waste processing facility Global Renewables has reached a new milestone with its first contribution of power to the National Grid.

The 17-hectare waste processing facility on the former ICI works site on Hillhouse Business Park, Thornton, has started to contribute 1.8 megawatts per hour of electricity every day – enough to power around 180 homes.

The new ‘green electricity’ – generated from organic waste – will be used to provide power for its own plant which then means less power is used from the grid.

David Brewer, chief executive of Global Renewables, said: ”This is an exciting moment for us. The team has worked incredibly hard in making sure the plant is running efficiently through all of our processes.

“Although generating power is a secondary priority to recycling waste, we are delighted to be making a further contribution to cleaner energy.”

The Global Renewables UR-3R development, which stands for Urban Resource – Reduction, Recovery, Recycling, began operation in May last year and treats 225,000 tonnes of household waste from Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and further afield in Lancashire every year.

The plant is a combination of some of the world’s most effective waste treatment technologies, enabling the extraction of the maximum amount of recyclables from the waste stream.

It also turns the environmentally-damaging organic fraction into a high quality type of compost product called Organic Growth Medium (OGM).

In March 2007, Global Renewables Lancashire Ltd, Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council signed what was then the UK’s largest waste PFI contract; a £2bn, 25-year agreement to process the household waste of 1.4 million people in Lancashire from its two facilities at Leyland and Thornton.

They help to recover more than 85 per cent of the waste produced by Lancashire’s households and make Lancashire one of the greenest counties in the UK in terms of sustainable waste management, treating around 270,000 tonnes of household waste per year.

The UR-3R process for solid waste has been approved by environmental action group and charity Greenpeace.