The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is to fund a new waste treatment, recycling and waste-to-energy facility near Wakefield in West Yorkshire.
The facility is to be built as part of a 25 year PFI contract between waste management group Shanks and Wakefield Council, which is worth an estimated £750 million. Other funding partners include Barclays, BayernLB from Germany and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation from Japan.
Shanks will deliver the residual waste treatment facility at South Kirkby, which will employ a number of processes to treat and recycle waste from the Wakefield District. Up to 230,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste will be processed every year, helping to increase the local authority’s landfill diversion rate towards 90%.
A variety of materials will be segregated for recycling and the facility will produce a refuse derived fuel, for processing at a multi-fuel plant being built at the Ferrybridge Power Station for energy recovery. A separate onsite materials recycling facility will separate out the clean mixed recyclate material derived from the Wakefield District’s households to be used by specialist markets.
The remaining organic waste will be treated using a state-of-the-art autoclave, which has already been built and undergone testing. This process will sterilise the remaining material before it is fed into a 65,000 tonnes per annum anaerobic digestion plant, where it will be converted into biogas for renewable energy generation. This will both power the plant and export energy back to the grid; it is estimated that the process will generate sufficient green energy to power around 3,000 homes. The residue from the anaerobic digestion process will be used as a nutrient-rich soil conditioner.
Green waste will be processed via an enclosed air controlled composting plant. The final compost material will be used for improving land remediation schemes across the Wakefield District and wider market and a proportion made available for use by the Wakefield District’s residents.
In addition to the various technologies on site, Shanks will also take over a network of Household Waste Recycling Centres, transfer stations and bring sites within the Wakefield District, as well as building a visitors centre at the South Kirkby site, to be used for the purpose of waste education and the promotion of waste minimisation.