Colnbrook incinerator achieves zero waste to landfill for first time
Grundon’s super-incinerator in Colnbrook has avoided sending waste to landfill for the first time, thanks to an innovative new treatment for residues generated from the plant’s operations.
A pioneering arrangement between a company specialising in turning residues from incineration into useful materials has seen its first success.
The tie-in with Carbon8 Aggregates has seen the “energy from waste” facility achieve zero waste to landfill over the past 18 months. According to the company, it is the first time in the UK that such a facility has met a 100% diversion from landfill target.
The plant at Colnbrook Lakeside has been recycling the ash residue left behind from incineration since September 2015, and it wants to see the success replicated elsewhere. Carbon8 said in a press release:
“Lakeside was the first EfW facility to fully adopt the new technology and, as a result of its forward-thinking approach, we believe it is now the first in the country to divert all its waste away from landfill.
“What we want to see now is more commercial operators and local authorities following Lakeside’s lead and demanding their EfW facilities adopt similar practices and stop sending APCr to landfill when there is a much more environmentally-friendly alternative.”
The company’s innovation followed 15 years of research at Imperial College, London and The University of Greenwich. Grundon Waste Management is the principal investor and former Grundon CEO Richard Skehens is the firm’s executive chairman, while current CEO Clayton Sullivan-Webb is a director.
The Colnbrook incinerator currently processes up to 450,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year from local businesses and local authorities, including Slough, Central Berkshire, Wiltshire and the West London Waste Authority. In doing so, it generates 37MW of power – enough to provide electricity to every household in Slough.
Danny Coulston, Lakeside Operations Director, said:
“We are very proud to have been early adopters of Carbon8’s technology and to have achieved such an important goal. Not only is zero waste to landfill a significant milestone for our own operation, it also helps our customers to meet their own environmental targets and we know they see this as a real benefit.”
The residue is collected by specialist tankers and transported to a Carbon8’s facilities in Suffolk and Avonmouth for processing. It is converted into a carbon negative aggregate used in building blocks, precast and ready mixed concrete and screeds. Carbon8 says the material, “C8Agg” is the world’s first truly carbon-negative aggregate and is proving increasingly popular with the construction industry, which sees it as a more sustainable alternative to natural aggregates.