After reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible, Energy Recovery Facilities (ERF’s) will provide the infrastructure we need to efficiently recover energy from the residual waste; meaning landfill will become the absolute last resort.
We are investing over £1.2 billion in the development of a network of advanced energy recovery facilities across the UK to reduce the country's reliance on landfill or exporting waste to the continent for treatment. This year our facilities will produce 225MW electricity, enough to power 330,000 homes (a city the size of Leeds).
Energy recovery is a technology that sees pre-treated non-recyclable waste burned at high temperatures under carefully controlled conditions. The process is extremely efficient, robust and safe, with emissions treated to meet the stringent European Industrial Emissions Directive which is strictly enforced and monitored by the relevant regulatory authority (Environment Agency (EA) in England, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland or Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in Wales).
UK waste policies clearly identify the need for essential new recycling and recovery infrastructure, and waste planning policy continues to recognise this need.
Giving new life to everything in your black bin
The electricity from energy recovery is fed into the National Grid and the heat can be utilised locally presenting opportunities for additional commercial development and improving resource efficiency.
The process produces bottom ash (the bulk of remaining materials), which is recycled for use as aggregate material in the construction industry and Air Pollution Control residue (APCr) which is safely recycled or disposed of at licensed facilities.
Energy recovery is an established technology across Europe, working alongside high recycling rates and helping to meet landfill diversion targets.
Each site operates under the highest quality, environmental, energy efficiency, and health and safety standards – certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001 respectively.