A seemingly pioneering arrangement between Carbon8 Aggregates and the Lakeside Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at Colnbrook in Berkshire has seen the latter achieve zero waste to landfill over an 18-month period (and counting).
It is thought to be the first time in the UK that an EfW facility has met a 100% diversion from landfill target, an achievement attributed in part to the use of new technology.
Since 1 September 2015, the Lakeside facility – a joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor – has been recycling 100% of its Air Pollution Control residues (APCr), ash which is left behind as the plant turns residual waste into sustainable energy.
Playing a key role in achieving the goal is Carbon8 Aggregates, which uses an award-winning, patented process known as Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT) to transform the APCr into a high quality lightweight aggregate called C8Aggregate (C8Agg).
Stephen Roscoe, Carbon8’s Technical Director, said: “Carbon8 has led the way in developing new ways of managing and recycling APCr. These results demonstrate that our technology is proven, reliable and offers a truly sustainable alternative for EfW operators and their customers.
“Lakeside was the first EfW facility to fully adopt the new technology and, as a result of its forward-thinking approach, we believe it is now the first in the country to divert all its waste away from landfill.
“What we want to see now is more commercial operators and local authorities following Lakeside’s lead and demanding their EfW facilities adopt similar practices and stop sending APCr to landfill when there is a much more environmentally-friendly alternative.”
As an added incentive, the alternative disposal route means EfW operators can avoid the increasing cost of landfill tax to dispose of their APCr – a benefit that has already been recognised by a number of other EfW operators who are also now working with Carbon8.
The Lakeside EfW facility currently processes up to 450,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year from both local businesses and local authorities, including Slough, Central Berkshire, Wiltshire and the West London Waste Authority. In doing so, it generates 37MW of power – enough to provide electricity to every household in Slough.
Danny Coulston, Lakeside Operations Director, said: “We are very proud to have been early adopters of Carbon8’s technology and to have achieved such an important goal. Not only is zero waste to landfill a significant milestone for our own operation, it also helps our customers to meet their own environmental targets and we know they see this as a real benefit.”
The APCr is collected by specialist tankers and transported to a Carbon8 Aggregates’ facility in Suffolk or Avonmouth, where it is converted into a carbon negative aggregate used in building blocks, precast and ready mixed concrete and screeds.
Because the ACT process permanently captures more carbon dioxide (CO2) than is generated during its manufacture, it means C8Agg is the world’s first truly carbon-negative aggregate.
It is proving increasingly popular with the construction industry, which sees it as a more sustainable alternative to natural aggregates.
Completing the 100% diversion from landfill, Lakeside has been sending its Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) for reprocessing since 2010, where any metals are segregated for recycling and the remaining material is recycled for use in road-building and construction projects.