U-turn at Fylde coast waste recycling centre

Huge Global Renewables plant at Thornton.
Huge Global Renewables plant at Thornton.
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Part of a Fylde coast waste recycling centre could be re-started – just two years after scores of jobs were lost there.

Lancashire County Council is planning to use existing unused equipment at its controversial Global Renewables site in Thornton to dry out non-recylable waste.

Waste pickers at the Leyland site

Waste pickers at the Leyland site

This will reduce its weight and therefore cut the amount it is charged to dump it at landfill sites. It is hoped to save the council around £1.28m –a small portion of which will be split with Blackpool Council which shares the service.

The trial scheme, which if given final approval is set to start later this year, would also create 13 jobs which could become permanent if the six month plan is a success.

The Thornton site and its sister site near Leyland lost 250 jobs when the council scrapped organic waste composting. However, it still deals with some waste sustaining around 29 jobs.

Steve Scott, Lancashire County Council head of waste management, said it could cut landfill by 46,000 tonnes. He said: “We’re proposing to introduce an extra step to the way we currently treat residual waste at the Thornton Waste Recovery Park, which could save £1.28m by reducing the mass of the waste we send to landfill. We currently use a mechanical process to recover the elements of the waste that can be converted into fuel for energy production.

“This leaves us with a proportion of the waste stream which has a high organic content but is too contaminated to do anything with other than landfill. The proposal is to introduce a simple composting-like process to this organic element, where the waste is aerated and turned for two weeks allowing natural evaporation of some of the moisture content, cutting its mass by around 25 per cent.”