Official start of construction of Suffolk’s energy-from-waste facility
An event to mark the official start of construction of Suffolk’s energy-from-waste facility will be held in Great Blakenham on Friday.
Local residents, councillors and representatives from the various companies involved in getting the project to this stage have all been invited to mark the occasion.
Energy-from-waste provides a cheaper, greener solution to disposing of the household waste left after recycling. At the same time it puts the waste to good use as a fuel to generate electricity.
When it opens, in December 2014, the Suffolk site will produce enough electricity for 30,000 homes, divert 252,000 tonnes of waste a year from landfill, reduce greenhouse gasses by 75,000 tonnes a year (compared with landfill) and allow for greater recycling.
Since January, workmen have been preparing the site by demolishing existing buildings and digging the 13 meter-deep bunker, where waste will be tipped once the facility opens.
Councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for waste, said: “Friday will be a momentous day for us. Now all the preparation has been done, construction can start on a facility, which has been at least six years in the planning.
“For that’s when we first started to look for a better way to deal with our waste. We have combined Suffolk County Council’s determination to get a good deal for Suffolk with SITA UK’s proven expertise to come up with a solution which over the life of the contract will be at least £350 million cheaper than continuing to landfill and will have significant environmental benefits.”
David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive of SITA UK, said: “It will be fantastic to be in Suffolk to mark this occasion. The construction project is progressing well and we are looking forward to seeing this landmark facility take shape.
“In two and a half years time, all of Suffolk’s residual household waste will be put to good use, generating electricity, instead of being sent to landfill.
Suffolk County Council has demonstrated excellent leadership in taking charge of its waste problem and finding a solution. We are delighted to be delivering a world-class facility that will benefit council tax payers and cut carbon emissions for years to come.”
In February, the partnership between Suffolk County Council and SITA UK was judged by the Local Government Chronicle to be the best example in the country of a local council working with a private company for the benefit of local residents.