Viridor and phs agree deal to generate power from nappies and sanitary products

Waste management company Viridor has inked a new multi-million-pound contract with washroom services firm phs Group, that will divert non-recyclable hygiene waste such as nappies and sanitary products from landfill to be used for power generation.

Viridor and phs agree deal to generate power from nappies and sanitary products


The new multi-million-pound, five-year national contract will see phs-managed non-recyclable waste transformed into energy at Viridor plants across the country.

If disposed of via landfill the items can take more than 500 years to decompose. These absorbent hygiene products can also make incineration expensive due to their dampness.

However, by signing a new agreement with phs, Viridor will receive hygiene waste through the latter’s LifeCycle strategy, to be sent to energy recovery facilities to power homes, offices buildings, hospitals and schools.

Viridor’s commercial director Paul Ringham said: “Viridor’s fleet of energy recovery facilities across the UK provided the sustainable waste management strategy phs was looking for.

“A key part of Viridor’s relationship with phs is the emphasis on attaching a purpose to waste which cannot be recycled, putting this residual waste to work in a process which creates low carbon electricity and contributes to UK energy security. This is an ambition shared by phs which, like Viridor, views all waste as a resource and not rubbish.”

Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) operational capacity now sits at 2.8 million tonnes of waste and is capable of generating 233MW of electricity per annum, which will jump to 267MW when the Avonmouth ERF comes online.

Additionally, the new contract will give phs national coverage across its network of sites, which will enable the firm to reduce road mileage and associated emissions of disposing of the waste.

Currently, phs collects around 65,000 tonnes of hygiene waste from customers. One of the major benefits of this collection process is to stop the build-up of fatbergs – large masses of waste which collect in sewers after waste such as grease, wet wipes and nappies are flushed into the system. phs has set an objective to divert up to 95% of its customers’ hygiene waste away from landfill.

phs Group’s chief executive David Taylor-Smith added: “Organisations need to be questioning whether they should leave a burden of more than 500 years for every bag of washroom waste they dispose of. Through phs’ LifeCycle strategy, organisations will significantly reduce their impact upon the planet by landfill diversion and energy creation, transforming this burden into a legacy.

“phs’ company ethos is all about doing the right thing; LifeCycle is the right thing both for the environment and for our customers.”

phs is sponsoring partner of edie’s online plastics event

Registration is now open for an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions from companies such as Eurostar, Nestlé and Sky on Thursday 16 January – all dedicated to helping businesses collaborate, innovate and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics.

The second of our Inspiration Sessions offers up a series of quick-fire case studies, hearing from some of the businesses that are leading the fight against single-use plastics in their operations and across the supply chain, featuring speakers from phs, Eurostar and Canary Wharf Group.

Register for the event here.

Matt Mace

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