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New PARC recycling system leading the way

FOR DEFRA NEW TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAMME. A new bio-processing plant in County Durham which offers local authorities an environmentally sustainable way for disposing of unsorted domestic waste will become one of the first fully operational projects developed under the Defra New Technologies Demonstrator Programme when it is commissioned next month.

Developed by Premier Waste Management and CiViC Environmental Systems, the Premier Advanced Recycling Centre (Parc) is an integrated system which uses a proven rapid bio-processing technology to process Municipal Solid Waste (MSW).

The innovative system recycles metals, glass, plastic and aerobically-digesting biodegradable materials into a compost product which is used to manufacture high quality topsoil.

A five-year operational trial and research conducted in association with Durham University has shown the Parc system releases substantially less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than either of the two current methods of waste disposal – incineration (or Energy from Waste) and landfill – over both the short and long-term.

It has also recycled, composted and diverted from landfill more than 70 per cent of the 37,000 tonnes of MSW processed annually by Premier's two established Parc towers, a figure which would go a significant distance towards meeting local authorities' increasingly demanding recycling and waste management performance targets.

A new, larger Parc tower is to be commissioned at Premier's Thornley site in County Durham in mid-May, taking the site's annual processing capacity up to 62,000 tonnes of MSW.

The Defra New Technologies Programme aims to make a contribution to the planned EU's huge reduction of waste going to landfill by removing barriers to the development and application of appropriate new technologies.

Established in 2003, the £30m programme aims to prove the economic, social and environmental viability of each of four selected waste treatment technologies.

Dave Brooks, Head of New Technologies at Defra's Waste Implementation Programme, says: “The Parc system is a method of addressing the ever-more pressing task of diverting the maximum amount of waste possible away from landfill, and its development has progressed exactly on schedule.

It provides a compact option for local authorities with waste management facilities located close to areas of population, and is an excellent example of how new technologies can be utilised to tackle environmental issues.”

Dr Les Grant, Chief Executive of Premier Waste Management, adds: “Local authorities have a key contribution to make in ensuring they minimise the carbon footprint of their waste management activities, and thus meet their waste and recycling performance targets and responsibilities with maximum efficiency.

Both landfill operations and incineration generate significant amounts of greenhouse gases, whereas the Parc system allows for the capture of around 40% of the carbon in waste.

Grant continued”This massively reduces emissions and diverts over 70% of the waste from landfill, and the remaining residue that does go to landfill is largely inert.”

The topsoil product that is manufactured from the composted waste output of the Parc process has the same specification and characteristics of an ordinary soil and is used in brownfield remediation projects, such as colliery or landfill restoration, on which short-rotation coppicing plantations or forestry can be grown.

And given a potential change in current long-established waste output classifications, the compost could also have significant agricultural, domestic and even coastline restoration uses.

Les Grant continues: “Parc is a highly flexible system capable of processing both source segregated and un-segregated waste streams.

“We have guaranteed markets for its various outputs which we believe will expand as the uses of compost derived products become clearer and the regulatory environment catches up with these new technologies.

“We truly believe that this is a real landmark in the development of environmentally-efficient waste management processes, and that local authorities around the UK stand to benefit greatly from investigating its implementation.”

Local authorities in Northern Ireland will be able to explore this technology at the CIWM Northern Ireland conference. Taking place on the 25th and 26th April at the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, Northern Ireland the Parc system will be exhibited demonstrating its potential use in pursuit of council recycling and diversion targets.

For further information on the Parc system, please contact Premier Waste Management on 0191 3844000 or visit www.recyclingreinvented.com http://www.recyclingreinvented.com

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