Being eco-friendly means living in a way that is not harmful to the environment. This way of life is becoming increasingly important as we need to protect our planet from man-made damage. In the ever changing and ever-growing world we live in, we are all now more than ever trying to do our bit to sustain a healthier future. Gloucestershire County Council have teamed up with two well established businesses to try and do just that.
The Gloucestershire Energy from Waste (EfW) Facility is an environmentally sound solution for processing the county’s waste that cannot be recycled. The facility accepts up to 190,000 tonnes of residual waste each year from local homes and, the County’s household recycling centers and contracted third-party commercial waste. In turn, producing over 116,000 megawatt hours for the National Grid every year – enough energy to power 25,000 homes!
The facility boasts an on-site Visitor Centre providing educational tours, courses and workshops for community and educational groups to show how the county’s waste is being converted into energy and how the facility supports Gloucestershire’s recycling activities.
Boiswood were lucky enough to be invited in for a site tour and review of the instrumentation used around the facility. We were amazed at just how beneficial the site is for waste recovery in Gloucestershire:
- Approximately 50% of energy produced by the facility can be classed as renewable.
- Generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 25,000 homes.
- Divert over 90% of Gloucestershire’s incoming household residual waste from landfill.
- Produce over 30,000 tonnes of sustainable aggregates.
- Recover around 3,000 tonnes of metals.
- Rain is captured on the roof and is used in the administration block for toilet flushing! The rain is also used to cool the hot ash from the combustion process.
- Approximately 130,000 tonnes of household residual waste comes from Gloucestershire’s residents each year - this is the equivalent of 21,667 fully grown male African Elephants!
So How Does It Work?
Household residual waste is waste that cannot be recycled or reused. The EfW facility treats all the household residual waste, generated in Gloucestershire and collected by the District Councils or taken to Household Recycling Centers (HRCs), making the County self-sufficient in terms of waste treatment capacity. This keeps ‘waste miles’ down and supports recycling through recovery of metals and aggregates from Incinerator Bottom Ash.
Incinerator bottom ash (IBA) is a form of ash resulting from the Energy from Waste process. The combustion of 190,000 tonnes of waste will give rise to approximately 40,000 tonnes of IBA p.a. comprising mainly clinker, brick rubble and soils, glass, ceramics, and metals. This material is cooled in a quench bath and conveyed to a storage/process hall in the main building of the Facility. The material is then processed with an array of screens, magnets, and eddy current separators to recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The remaining material is graded for use as a substitute for virgin aggregate in construction and civil engineering industries.
The Facility has an Environmental Permit which has set the level of permissible emissions using the Industrial Emissions Directive stipulations. The Permit was assessed and granted by the Environment Agency (EA) who also undertake regular regulatory inspections. The Facility delivers high environmental performance, low emissions, high energy and recycle recovery, and diversion of waste from landfill. It is reliable, established, and robust.
The gross electrical output of the Facility is 17.4 MW. After taking power to run the Facility, it exports 14.5 MW, or around 116,000 MWh per year to the grid, providing the equivalent electrical energy to power 25,000 homes. 2.9 MW is used for the Facility itself. The Facility is designed to be a CHP Plant, so that as well as generating electricity, it is capable of supplying heat or steam to be used by neighboring homes or businesses.
Boiswood are now providing Urbaser with products and value-added services such as specialist support, competitive pricing and fast delivery through stock holding of the site’s instrumentation needs.