Recycling company SITA UK has submitted a planning application to Knowsley Council for a rail loading waste transfer station at Knowsley Industrial Park, Kirkby.
The proposed 13-acre facility would enable up to 500,000 tonnes of residual waste, left after recycling, to be bulked up and transported by rail to an energy-from-waste facility in Teesside each year.
Corrina Scott-Roy, planning manager at SITA UK, said: "Our proposal would utilise an existing rail transfer facility and with some minor alterations provide an efficient and sustainable method of transporting waste to an energy-from-waste plant which would generate heat and electricity in Teesside. This would mean that 500,000 tonnes of waste is put to good use rather than being sent to landfill.
"The conversations we have had with local residents and stakeholders have raised a number of issues which we have taken on board when finalising our planning submission.
"One recurring theme was the perceived impact on Acorn Farm. We have been in dialogue with the farm's management and have discussed ways in which the facility could actually help secure the future operations of the farm in its current location.
"For example, eligible organisations within a three mile radius of the facility will be able to apply for funding from the SITA Trust. SITA UK is also proposing a local community fund specifically for this development. The details of this have yet to be finalised but we are anticipating that the sum available for local community projects will be in the region of £50,000 a year.
"We pride ourselves on being a good neighbour and hope to secure planning permission so we can implement our proposals for this site."
A decision on the planning application is expected to be made by Knowsley Council before the end of the year. The site is owned by Potter Group.
The facility forms part of SITA UK's bid to secure Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority's MWDA Resource Recovery Contract and would only go ahead if SITA UK is successful in securing that contract.
SITA UK is on a shortlist of two companies – the other is Covanta – aiming to secure the contract with the successful party expected to be named by the MWDA in the summer of 2012.