One million tonnes of waste turned to energy celebrated at Welsh plant

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VIRIDOR and ‘Project Green’ councils have celebrated one million tonnes of non-recyclable waste being diverted from landfill and used to generate low carbon energy at the Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility.

Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility, a £220m investment by Viridor, was officially opened in 2015.

The plant receives 350,000 tonnes of residual waste (non-recyclable) waste a year with 172,000 tonnes from Prosiect Gwyrdd (‘Project Green’), comprising of Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire, Vale of Glamorgan and Caerphilly councils.

Matt Wakelam, Senior Responsible Officer for the Prosiect Gwyrdd Partnership, commented on the announcement: “The partnership was set up to find a long-term sustainable solution to waste that cannot be practically recycled and composted to ensure that we no longer needed to send waste to landfill.

“The partnership is delivering the strategic aims that have been set, as we now recover green energy from this waste, as well as ensuring that the two by-products from the process – bottom ash and air pollution control residue – are both recycled.

“The Welsh Government set out their blueprint on waste management in Wales through their Zero Waste Strategy.

“Energy recovery with both combined heat and power is their preferred waste treatment technology for non-recyclable waste.

“I am pleased to announce that plans are continuing to deliver a district heating system from the plant at Trident Park, which will transform the plant into a combined heat and power facility.

“In energy terms alone, this will significantly improve the efficiency of the plant.”

18,350 tonnes of metal had been recovered for recycling at the Trident Park Facility, with 146,093 tonnes incinerator bottom ash and 4,783 air pollution control residue recycled to be used as aggregate in the construction industry.

Viridor Commercial Director Paul Ringham said the company was proud of the landmark achievement and how the relationship with Prosiect Gwyrdd was continuing to evolve.

Mr Ringham explained: “Diverting a million tonnes of waste which cannot be recycled is an achievement which must be recognised.

“Taking this one step further and using this material to generate low carbon power and contribute to resource and energy efficiency is an important goal but we know there is still more we can do.

“Trident Park, like all the energy recovery facilities in the Viridor fleet, is a combined heat and power plant and we are delighted to be working with Cardiff City Council to ensure that the heat generated by Prosiect Gwyrdd’s non-recyclable waste will support a future Cardiff Heat Network.”

Since its opening, Trident Park has hosted 5,567 visitors, with the plant also contributing to community life by distributing Community Fund grants worth £198,659 to local groups.

Viridor’s Head of Contracts (South West and Wales), Patrick Murray, who worked with Prosiect Gwyrdd to develop the initial contract, added: “The success of this ongoing relationship is based on shared values about attaching a real value to all waste, recycling all we can and putting the remainder to work through energy recovery and making a real contribution to the community.

“Together Viridor and Prosiect Gwyrdd have created a valuable and well-utilised education centre where future generations are taught the value of recycling as well energy recovery.

“It is here that many people hear about the waste hierarchy – and the need to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover – for the first time.”