Parking up for recovery at Ince Marshes

A MBT plant will form the centrepiece of a flagship resource recovery park in Cheshire that is set to become a truly sustainable waste management solution

When the Ince Marshes Resource Recovery Park goes live in 2012, it will be the largest development of its kind in the UK. Conceived around a notion of industrial symbiosis, the development encompasses an integrated waste management facility, an energy-from-waste plant, plots for waste material reprocessing and remanufacture activities, plus a clutch of research and development units.

The centrepiece of the integrated waste management facility is a MBT plant, which will process around 100,000tpa of residual waste. It will separate out water, recyclable and energy-rich waste elements to produce refuse-derived fuel. The fuel will be used to power the energy-from-waste plant on-site, which will be capable of combusting 650,000tpa
of material.

The MBT plant will be housed in a 4,854 square metre enclosed building, obviating odours, dust and flies. All mechanical equipment and dusty areas will be ventilated, with extracted air passing through filters prior to atmospheric discharge. Other output streams from the integrated waste management facility include recyclable metals, an organic fraction with potential for compost uses, inert material such as stones and glass, and residual material.

Situated in the Mersey belt, some 10km from Chester, the project is a hugely ambitious venture by Peel Environmental, the environment division of Peel Holdings - a diversified transport and property group with assets worth over £4.5B. Access will be optimised with minimal environmental impact via multi-modal transport routes including road, rail and shipping via a new canal berth connected to the Manchester Ship Canal.

"The overall idea behind a resource recovery park is to treat waste as a valuable resource rather than a costly problem," says Myles Kitcher, director of Peel Environmental. "It will be a significant regional catalyst to help move us away from fossil-fuel dependency by conserving vital resources and producing and making better use of our waste."

Technology will be at the forefront
Another key feature of the Ince Marshes project is what Peel Environmental is calling an environmental technologies complex (ETC) - essentially an enabling space for business, research and development, dedicated to sustainable waste management. Proposed uses for the ETC include a biofuel management facility, outlets for contaminated soil treatment, and businesses devoted to the innovative alchemy of discarded plastics, wood and electronics into useable resources.

"The ETC aspect of the resource recovery park will help bring cutting-edge investment from overseas - 60% of our live enquiries are from outside the UK," says Kitcher.

"Businesses and organisations often find the planning system quite difficult in the UK, so the park is likely to be an enticing prospect. It will certainly stimulate investment into the region and will be a good source of quality jobs."

He estimates that over the next five to ten years, the project will create around 2,000 jobs - from manual work to managerial and scientific positions.

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