As one of the three firms short-listed by Leicestershire County Council for the procurement of the contract to deal with the area’s residual waste, Biffa intends to apply for planning consent this November.
It is hoped the energy recovery facility, which could be built at the company’s Newhurst Quarry site in Shepshed, will generate 21 MW of electricity from 300,000 tonnes of waste.
Biffa chief executive Andre Horbach said: “Waste should be seen as a resource. Our view is that it should be recycled wherever possible and the remaining material used to generate energy.”
Under the county council’s contract, 180,000 tonnes of household waste needs to be treated. However, Biffa hopes the facility will act as a single solution for household and business waste as it will have an extra 120,000 tonne capacity to deal with residual waste generated by businesses and industry.
Waste will be delivered to the reception area within the building where automated conveyors will transfer it to the combustion chamber. The heat from the chamber will produce steam to power the electricity generators. Biffa will recycle the ash produced in the combustion process as aggregates for the building and construction industry. The separate fly ash will be taken off-site for disposal.
Leicestershire County Council has already granted the firm planning permission on the Newhurst site for a waste treatment and sorting plant with landfill disposal for 375,000 tonnes of waste each year.
Biffa development director Simon Allin explained: “While our original plans for this site are still viable, technology has progressed and the Leicestershire procurement process makes an energy plant totally viable.
“This is an excellent opportunity to move away from landfill and all its associated environmental issues and provide a modern energy recovery facility on a site which is already established as being suitable for waste management on a similar scale.”