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We are leading the way with cleaner, greener waste disposal

Column by Coun Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council

Climate change continues to be a major concern nationally and internationally.

With this in mind, I am proud of our record in this county of being at the forefront of cleaner ways of dealing with household waste.

To emphasise our commitment, our Energy from Waste plant is the largest capital project the county council has ever funded.

September sees the plant processing its millionth tonne of waste since it opened in North Hykeham in 2013.

This tremendous milestone is a good opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved over the six years it has been operating – reducing the amount of rubbish going to landfill by a mammoth 93 per cent.

When it opened this was the biggest change ever to waste disposal in the county but because it was so seamless many people haven’t realised the major transformation that has taken place.

Locally, we now take for granted this cleaner and more efficient way of doing things which has reduced the need for using smelly and noisy landfill sites.

The facility features state-of-the-art flue gas cleaning and emission monitoring systems and incorporates modern and reliable technology which exceeds the Environment Agency’s standards.

It’s great to think that the waste we are processing is going to good use by being converted into 554,000 MWh of energy for the National Grid, enough to power 29,000 homes across the county. This is a major success in reducing the need for traditional carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

In addition to the energy produced, the waste treatment process has also produced around 215,000 tonnes of incinerator bottom ash. This material contains metal which can be extracted and aggregate which can be used in the construction of roads.

Over the lifetime of the 25 year contract that Lincolnshire County Council has with partners FCC Environment who run the plant, we will save around £30 million for local council taxpayers. This is by drastically cutting the waste which would have otherwise gone to landfill from 180,000 tonnes a year to just 12,000 tonnes.

If you would like to see how the plant works for yourself, it has a fully-equipped visitor centre that is open to groups on pre-booked trips.

Find out how the site works through interactive displays, learn about recycling, the re-use of materials and wider resource management issues.

To book a visit, see lincolnshire.fccenvironment.co.uk

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