Waste industry invests to close facilities gap

A report published recently by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) concluded that up to 2,300 new waste treatment facilities needed to be operational by 2020 to avoid a major crisis involving millions of tonnes of untreated waste. The introduction of these facilities, which could total up to £30 billion pounds, create thousands of jobs, and take five years to come on-line, are being stalled by a combination of public animosity, government prevarication and industry nervousness, the report claimed.

Nigel Mattravers, Vice Chairman of ICE's Waste Management Board, said: "The annual volume of waste in this country is increasing every year, and every year we see more campaigns preventing the introduction of desperately needed facilities. Private companies are constantly fighting an uphill battle against local government and UK residents over the siting of plants and unless circumstances are improved, these companies may begin to turn away from an increasingly unprofitable industry. The general public need to be educated to allay their fears about the dangers of these facilities and understand that refusing them may lead to the much larger problem of millions of tonnes of rubbish with simply nowhere to go."

The number of facilities, featured in ICE's State of the Nation 2004 report, comes from recent industry projections concerning the quantity, costs, and types of plants desperately needed to supplement the current landfill system.

New facilities

There is evidence, however, that local authorities and the waste industry are prepared to invest in the new facilities required as examples reported here show. The construction of Onyx's new Waste Transfer Station at Netley, in Hampshire is now complete, the waste management company reports.. The site,which is now fully operational will handle annually over 67,000 tonnes of domestic waste and dry mixed recyclables collected from households in the Southampton and Eastleigh area.

The construction of Netley forms a part of the ongoing infrastructure programme being carried out by Onyx under its 27-year contract with Project Integra. The additional infrastructure within the contract includes the development and management of three energy recovery facilities, two material recovery facilities, three composting facilities and six transfer stations.

The site uses a brand new Volvo L90E artic load shovel fitted with an ME1310 series on-board weigher, to ensure that optimum loads are achieved. The site is equipped with a 24-hour CCTV monitoring system supplied and maintained by I Sights Ltd.

Gavin Graveson, Managing Director of Onyx Hampshire, said, "Facilities such as Netley provide a vital function to the overall management of waste in the county and represent just one facet of a comprehensive network of facilities required by the contract."

The remaining five transfer stations in the county are in Rushmoor, Lymington, Andover, Otterbourne and Marchwood. These sites are deposit points for local authority controlled waste, which is then transferred to materials recovery facilities, composting centres, energy recovery facilities or as a last resort, landfill.


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