Energy from Waste will benefit us – by Laura Simpkins, of South Holland District Council

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Energy from Waste has seen a lot of investment over the past few years with the UK’s ever increasing waste problem. So what is Energy from Waste and how does it benefit South Holland?

Energy from Waste provides a sustainable way to treat black bag refuse, waste that isn’t recycled or composted.

This is an alternative to sending thousands of tonnes of black bags to landfill sites which are filling up fast!

With space becoming ever scarcer and the environmental implications of landfill it is important to think of other solutions to waste that cannot be recycled.

After detailed research and public consultation it was decided that Energy from Waste could be a potential solution to Lincolnshire’s waste problem.

The Lincolnshire plant is located in North Hykeham, near Lincoln, and is a valuable step forward in dealing with waste that was previously sent to landfill.

It is estimated that this facility will treat 150,000 tonnes of waste a year, generating enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

Energy from Waste plants generate renewable electricity by burning refuse.

The refuse is burned at high temperatures under carefully controlled conditions.

This combustion process produces high-pressure steam that is converted into electricity by use of a turbine and a generator.

This means that residual waste has the potential to become a fuel, rather than being buried in a landfill.

The electricity that Energy from Waste plants produce can be used to power the facility itself, whilst the remainder is sold to the National Grid.

At the moment it is estimated that Energy from Waste accounts for around 1.5 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply. This is likely to increase in the coming years with estimates of it accounting for around 6 per cent of the total UK electricity by 2020.

This is due to ever rising landfill taxes and the importance of using resources to their full potential.

Lincolnshire is very lucky to have an Energy from Waste plant and it is an important step forward for a more sustainable waste solution.

However, it is important to remember that this cannot replace recycling, reusing and reducing our waste.

These three processes all reclaim or reuse raw materials, which saves vital resources and energy.

However, for everything that cannot be reused, reduced or recycled Energy from Waste is an exciting prospect!

Please recycle after reading.