The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has given its approval for the North East’s largest independent waste management firm to go ahead with its innovative bio-processing recycling system, which turns biodegradable waste into a soil enhancing bio-compost.
The Premier Advanced Recycling Centre (PARC) technology builds upon natural composting processes by using in vessel bio-processing technology to speed up the breakdown of Municipal (household) Solid Waste (MSW).
Biodegradable materials are converted into a compost like material which can then be used as an enhancement to poor quality soil. The PARC process also separates out metals, glass and plastic which can then be recycled, diverting up to 75% of waste from landfill.
Premier is now authorised to operate all three towers of the PARC technology at its Thornley site in County Durham, providing a sustainable alternative for treating and recovering value from up to 60,000 tonnes a year of unsorted domestic waste.
The Environment Agency has also given permission for Premier to use the bio-compost in landfill restoration works at its Joint Stocks site in County Durham and, as a result, the company initially expects to use around 5,000 tons as a soil supplement this year.
As part of PARC’s continual development, Premier Waste has worked closely with both DEFRA and the Environment Agency using independent consultants and its own Scientific Advisory Group to implement significant improvements in the design and operation of the plant.
Ashley Cooper, Divisional Managing Director at Premier, said: "We have implemented process developments to improve and enhance the performance of PARC, and we are pleased that DEFRA and the Environment Agency, having issued the necessary authorisations, have confirmed that these enable the plant to fully meet all regulatory requirements.
"The PARC system reflects the company’s principle that waste is a valuable resource and we are committed to ensuring that this technology delivers the highest quality reusable products possible. We are therefore pleased to be in a position to move the technology forward.
"We believe that PARC provides an environmentally friendly waste management process which recovers value from MSW."
The PARC system is a low carbon technology which massively reduces green house gas emissions, diverting up to 75% of the waste from landfill, with the remaining residue that does go to landfill largely inactive.