Elstow South Integrated Waste Management Facility
What is being proposed?
FCC Environment is proposing to develop an integrated waste management facility and nonhazardous landfill on its site within the former clay extraction pit at Elstow South. The proposals include a range of recycling, recovery and disposal facilities designed to drive waste up the established hierarchy through materials recycling, anaerobic digestion and refuse derived fuel production, whilst using residual waste from the process to restore the former quarry by means of landfill. This facility is proposed to manage commercial and industrial waste although it may have a future role to play in a Municipal Waste Strategy.
The proposals also include a modern household waste recycling centre for public use. A planning application was submitted to Bedford Borough Council in July 2012, full details of this application can be found here.
The site is located to the south west of the village of Elstow within the void created by former clay extracting works. The site area is shown on light green on the plan below.
Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) – this facility proposes a range of technologies to separate recyclable materials from waste by assessing their physical and chemical properties.
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) – this facility would process agricultural waste as well as maize to produce renewable energy and fertiliser for use on farm land.
Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) – this part of the facility would manufacture a solid fuel product by means of shredding and dehydrating waste. This fuel product can be used by power generation companies and produces lower CO2 emissions than fossil fuels. The waste used in this process is unsuitable for recycling and would otherwise go to landfill.
Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) – The public will have access to a comprehensive, modern facility providing segregated disposal for a variety of household waste including electronic and electrical waste (WEEE), glass, plastics, cardboard and scrap metal.
Landfill - Whilst landfill is the least favourable option for waste disposal, some waste simply cannot be processed in an alternative manner. The landfill will only accept residual waste which has had recyclables extracted. The landfill will be restored in phases resulting in a potential green space designed to enhance the aesthetics of the area. Offices and ancillary buildings – a site office has been incorporated into the structure of the materials recycling facility to provide office and service accommodation for employees.
For full details on the site plan, click on the image below:
Impact on the Environment
A full Environmental Statement (ES) was submitted to Bedford Borough Council as part of the planning application which documents the thorough Environmental Impact Assessment conducted to assess the suitability of the proposed site for the integrated waste management facility and non-hazardous landfill.
To complete the EIA a range of detailed studies were carried out on issues including:
• Noise and Vibration
• Ecology and Nature Conservation
• Traffic and Transport
• Air Quality
• Landscape and Visual Impact
Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
Care has been taken to ensure that the proposals consider the visual amenity of the local area. For example, the proposals include comprehensive soft landscaping as well as a reduction in local site levels to provide a natural visual barrier.