How Does the Facility Work?
Waste trucks and HGVs are weighed when arriving at the facility. Household and commercial waste is unloaded and pushed into a storage pit and thoroughly mixed. The tipping and waste storage areas are maintained under negative air pressure so that the odours associated with waste are captured in the combustion process and destroyed.
Once fed into the combustion chamber, waste is combusted in a self-sustaining process at a temperature greater than 850 degrees Celsius. As waste is burned, the heat converts water in the steel tube-lined walls into high pressure steam. The steam turns a turbine-driven generator to produce electricity for the National Grid which is then consumed by homes and businesses.
Steam from the process is later cooled, condensed back into water and returned to the boiler tubes, making it an efficient 'closed loop' system.
After combustion, the volume of waste is reduced by 90%, leaving an inert ash and metals. Bottom ash is sent off site where metals are recovered for recycling and the ash is put to beneficial reuse. Fly ash collected in the air pollution control equipment is put into silos and removed from the site in sealed containers by a licensed contractor.
State-of-the-art air pollution control equipment ensures that emissions are in full compliance with stringent standards set out in the facility's Environmental Permit. Acid gases are neutralized using lime in a semi-dry scrubber reactor and activated carbon is injected to capture and control for heavy metals. The baghouse filters controls emissions of particulate matter and employs thousands of fabric filter bags.
Throughout this process, the control room closely monitors emissions through a real-time continuous emission monitoring system and controls a number of other automated systems inside the facility.