R4C alternative to Gloucestershire incinerator launched
Community R4C (Resource Recovery, Recycling and Refining Centre), an alternative waste treatment plant designed to undermine Urbaser Bafour Beatty’s (UBB) Javelin Park incinerator in Gloucestershire, has been officially launched.
The group has presented R4C as a more ‘safe, cost-effective and sustainable facility’compared to the Javelin Park incinerator, claiming that over the course of one year it would save £10 million for local tax-payers, reduce carbon emissions by 114,000 tonnes, and provide nearly 90,000 more tonnes of both renewable biomass fuel and ‘high-grade’ recyclates.
The R4C plans to use advanced mechanical biological heat treatment (MBHT) – which uses magnets, air currents, water and infra-red light – to sort ‘more than 90 per cent’ of processed waste from municipal black bin bags into recyclates or waste that can be converted into bio-based fuel pellets.
Projections for the outputs of the centre were created using models produced by Biocentre Technology, a refined-fuel production facility designer that is supporting the project. The company has also provided the project with a free community operating licence.
According to the Community R4C group, the one-line plant would cost approximately £15-million and would be ‘sufficient to process all of the county’s municipal waste, as well as some commercial waste’. A second line could be added to the plans at an additional cost of £10 million.
In order to fund the plant, which is being proposed for development at a site adjacent to the Javelin Park incinerator development, the group hopes to make use of the UK Green Investment Bank and a community bond for local small investors that would offer a commercial return of around eight per cent per annum.
In addition, a number of potential partners, it says, have already expressed an interest in being part of the project. Part of this attraction has said to be the low gate fees that are being proposed, which would come in at around £20 per tonne (or £5 per tonne for early adopters).
With a planned operational launch of summer 2017, the group aims to pre-emptively take business away from the UBB incinerator, making it less cost-effective and forcing GCC to abandon plans for its construction.
Plans for the R4C were originally presented in July at a public meeting held by the community action group GlosVAIN (Gloucestershire Vale Against Incineration).
Construction of the controversial Javelin Park incinerator is currently planned for a site near Haresfield as part of UBB’s waste contract with Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).
UBB claims that the Javelin Park facility will divert more than 90 per cent of the county’s household residual waste from landfill, generating enough electricity to power approximately 26,000 homes and saving the council £150 million in landfill and energy costs over the next 25 years.
Planning permission was originally rejected by GCC’s Planning Committee, but the decision was later overturned by the former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.
Stroud District Council did lodge a legal challenge with the High Court over the decision, but the challenge was rejected in July, days after plans for the R4C were first presented.
‘Community project is David fighting Goliath’
Speaking following the launch of the community project, Tom Jarman, the project's co-founder, said: “The plant that Community R4C will be building has fantastic environmental and economic benefits for Gloucestershire.
“However it can’t happen without a strong powerful local support and what has occurred - the enormous strength of support and the commitment, skills and abilities of locals from Gloucestershire - is very encouraging and makes an enormous impact on what can be achieved.
“What the CR4C project is doing is really a David and Goliath thing where the people are saying ‘this is our waste, our resource, our environment, our community and our taxpayer pounds and we want this used in a constructive way that will deliver benefits to the community, not in a way that destroys resources and destroys our environment’.”
Find out more about the Community R4C project.