Suez Anaerobic Digestion Plant Suez Recycling and Recovery p planning

The 30,100 sq ft anaerobic digestion plant would be built on SUEZ's resource recovery park off Lower Eccleshill Road. Credit: via planning documents

Anaerobic digestion plant approved in Darwen

Under SUEZ recycling and recovery’s plans, bacteria will eat their way through food waste, generating enough biomethane to power nearly 7,000 homes in the process.

Blackburn with Darwen Council green-lit the sustainable energy proposals at its planning committee meeting last week. The anaerobic digestion facility would be built at SUEZ’s 18-acre resource recovery park off Lower Eccleshill Road in Darwen.

SUEZ already had permission to build another energy-from-waste facility on the site, one that focused on turning non-recyclable waste into electricity. The now-approved anaerobic digestion plant, on the other hand, will create energy by destroying organic and food waste.

SUEZ said that it is prepared to build either facility and will choose which one to construct based on government reforms to waste and recycling policy.

The approved 30,100 sq ft anaerobic digestion plant would be capable of processing 100,000 wet tonnes of organic and commercial food waste each year. Bacteria would take this waste and turn it into biogas and biofertiliser. The biogas would then be converted into biomethane, which is capable of both powering the plant and being exported to the local energy network.

The biofertiliser could then be used to help enrich the local soil.

Steve Patterson, regional director of the North for SUEZ, said: “Approval for this facility means that we will be able to respond quickly to develop the most appropriate facility to meet Blackburn with Darwen’s future needs when government policy and market conditions are clearer.

“We are delighted with this decision that will allow us to invest in and modernise our Lower Eccleshill Road site to create local jobs and develop a facility that would provide a local solution for food waste that produces renewable energy and can deliver nutrients back to the soil.”

Cllr Quesir Mahmood, executive member for growth at Blackburn with Darwen Council, praised SUEZ’s plans.

“The site will bring innovative and sustainable technologies to our borough, spotlighting Darwen as a leading example within this field,” Mahmood said.

Cllr Jim Casey, assistant executive member for environment, chimed in: “Tackling food waste is a huge priority for us locally, with a recent bin analysis revealing that, on average, a shocking 44% of general waste bin contents can be attributed to food waste in the borough.

“This plant will facilitate the recycling of that food waste into a bio-product, saving it from landfill, as well as prompting residents to consider how much food they are throwing away each week – benefits that are both environmental and economic,” Casey continued.

“We eagerly await more information from government on what the plans are for segregated food waste collections over the coming years so we can work with residents to deliver this successfully.”

WSP is the planning consultant for the project. The anaerobic digestion facility’s planning application reference number with Blackburn with Darwen Council is 10/22/1006.

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Good news for Blackburn with Darwen and the wider north west this recycling facility an important asset for the region . Another example of positive developments in this area

By George

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