UK’s largest vertical composter up and running

The UK's largest vertical composter began full production this week and started processing what will be 20,000 tonnes of kitchen waste a year.

The £3.2m waste facility in New deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland is an expansion by Keenan Recycling to its existing site and will recycle food waste from the surrounding community.

The composting technology will let the firm increase the amount of food, animal and garden waste being recycled and reduce the amount of biodegradable material being sent to landfill in the Grampian region.

Currently Keenan processes around 30,000 tonnes of green waste a year, employs 11 people, and the new technology will provide an extra 20,000 tonnes of capacity to process mainly kitchen waste.

Aberdeen City Council has just begun food waste kerbside collection and the first consignment of waste was delivered to the site this week and will be turned into compost which can then be used for a variety of applications including agriculture, horticulture and landscaping.

Grant Keenan, director at Keenan Recycling, said: “The significant investment which we have made in cutting-edge new technology will deliver major benefits for our local authorities in helping them to meet the EU’s challenging targets on landfill reduction.”

Keenan also has planning permission for a further eight in-vessel chambers at the site and this together and plans to expand its reception and office later this year totaling another £1m of investment.

Meanwhile, Northamptonshire County Council has also given the go-ahead for a recycling and renewable energy plant.

The facility, at Gretton Brook Road, will handle 120,000 tonnes of waste a year and will divert municipal, commercial and industrial waste from landfill to be recycled or turned into energy.

The project by Shore Energy is expected to take 15 months to build and is likely to create 100 construction jobs, with a further 24 full-time staff employed at the plant when it is up-and-running, with construction expected to start early next year.

Shore energy say the plant will save costs by generating its own energy and is the first of a number of facilities planned by Perth-based firm specifically designed to meet the targets set by UK and Scottish Governments.

Luke Walsh

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