Residents in Suffolk and Kirklees were invited to see first-hand what happens to their waste material last week as SUEZ recycling and recovery UK opened its doors to the public as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme.
The Suffolk energy-from-waste facility near Ipswich, and the Kirklees energy-from-waste facility and adjoining materials recycling facility in Huddersfield, both operated by SUEZ, took part in the Heritage Open Days scheme for the first time.
The Heritage Open Day scheme is an annual week-long event (14-22 September 2019) that sees a whole variety of buildings open their doors to celebrate heritage, community and history. Scores of residents signed up to guided tours across the two facilities where experts were on hand to show how waste is being put to good use.
In Kirklees, SUEZ manages recyclable and residual (black bag) waste from almost half a million residents. The Kirklees energy-from-waste facility – built almost 20 years ago –puts residual (black bag) waste to good use by using it to generate electricity. Since 2001, the facility has diverted 2.4m tonnes of residual waste from landfill.
Anna Bell, SUEZ’s Regional Manager in Kirklees, said: “The day was a huge success! We had over 50 people book on to tours on the Saturday - we could have easily registered another 100 people.”
Meanwhile, the newer Suffolk energy-from-waste facility – built in 2014 and run in partnership with Suffolk County Council – diverts up to 269,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill each year, generating enough electricity to power over 30,000 homes. The award winning facility was designed by Grimshaw Architects (designers of the Eden project) and includes a state of the art interactive visitor centre.
Suffolk County Councillor Paul West, cabinet member for waste said: “We are immensely proud of Suffolk’s energy-from-waste facility. Not only is it an iconic building for our county, but it provides a better environmental solution for Suffolk, delivering significant savings. The open day was a great opportunity for people to understand the whole waste story and get a close up look at the working plant in operation.”