Severn Trent Water have made significant progress in their drive to reduce waste to landfill volumes and increase recycling through the introduction of a processing plant from County Tyrone company, CDE Ireland.
The plant, which is provided to Severn Trent Water on a rental contract by Biffa is processing a variety of waste materials and since it has been introduced Severn Trent Water have seen a significant reduction in waste to landfill volumes. “We are now sending 50% less waste to landfill than was previously the case” explains Nick Williams, Digester Fleet Manager with Severn Trent Water.
“We are recovering a range of materials from the waste which are subsequently used in construction projects and energy generation initiatives within the company.”
Generating energy from waste is very much top of the agenda at Severn Trent currently with CEO, Tony Wray, very keen to increase the proportion of electricity that the company can generate for its own use. Mr Wray has a goal of generating 30% of the company’s electricity needs internally within five years. This is a significant increase from the figure of 17% recently announced for 2008, but according to Mr Wray imminent legislative changes now mean that this sort of blue sky thinking is necessary from all water companies.
As reported in a recent interview with the Sunday Times in January 2009, Mr Wray highlights the fact that water companies will be among those that will be included in the EU’s carbon trading scheme, under which they will have to pay for emissions.
Addressing this issue Wray comments “We’re going to get captured in the next phase of the carbon trading scheme, so the efficiency with which we can manage our energy consumption is very important.”
The plant from CDE is located at the Minworth Sewage Treatment Works site operated by Severn Trent Water in Sutton Coldfield on the outskirts of Birmingham. Severn Trent rent the plant from Biffa who also manage the day to day operation of the processing plant which processes a variety of waste materials including wet well waste, gully waste, inlet works grit and sewer blockage waste. The plant also processes reed bed material as part of Severn Trent Water’s Reed Bed Refurbishment Program.