UK to lead on 10 new EU environment technology projects

The UK is to take the lead on 10 new EU-wide projects to develop new environmental technologies to improve river quality, restore contaminated land, and boost recycling.

The supported projects include:
  • Middlesborough: to show how former contaminated industrial land can be used to grow crops to generate renewable energy while also providing a cost effective way of restoring brownfield land.
  • Blackburn: a company has developed an innovative plant to safely and efficiently process sewage sludge, so that it can be recycled for land. The process converts wastewater sludge into a high quality soil conditioner and produces enough methane gas to generate electricity to power the plant.
  • Newport: new chemical process which removes formaldehyde from industrial effluent waste.
  • Lewisham Chester: project to show how local authorities can work to maintain the environmental quality of riversides.
  • Oxford: a technological solution to help protect surface waters from intrate contamination from farm run off showcased.

    Other projects include new technology in Norfolk to convert waste tyres into their component materials; a glass recycling plant in Cwmbran; and new way of dealing with industrial wastewater in Glasgow.

    Environment Minister Elliot Morley said he was delighted that British innovation was taking the lead in Europe. "Business, universities and local councils can make an important contribution in developing new technology and methods to help us boost the amount of material we recycle and improve the quality of our local environment," he said. "But often such new and innovative solutions need a helping hand to reach their full potential."

    The projects - 89 across the whole EU - are being funded by the EU's Life-Environment fund. In total, £36 million will be invested in developing the new technologies in Britain, with £9.4 million coming from the EU.

    The EU-Life programme aims to bridge the gap between initial research and development and practical implementation of new technology and approaches.

    David Hopkins

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