Viridor’s Calne landfill receives final load

Viridor’s Calne landfill receives final loadViridor’s Calne landfill site accepted its last load of waste earlier in the month (15 April) as the company prepares to begin restoring it as part of its accelerated landfill wind-down programme.

Since opening in 1992, the site has taken over five million tonnes of residual waste from the Wiltshire region, including from waste operations at Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council. Viridor says that the 42-hectare site received up to 350,000 tonnes of waste each year, with material filling specially engineered up to 35 metres deep.

The landfill is one of several operated by Viridor to be entering restoration in 2016, as it reduces its number of operational landfills from 18 to three strategically located sites over the coming years

Reducing the number of landfillshas been prompted by the ‘sharp decline’ in their use across the UK, with the company saying that recycling and energy recovery technology provide more sustainable and resource-efficient options for waste materials.

The Calne site will now enter the aftercare phase, ensuring that landfill gas from the decomposing waste is harnessed in a series of gas engines and that it continues to generate power, before the site is restored to a variety of land uses including woodland, grassland and an apple orchard, creating local habitats for wildlife.

Earlier this year the company’s Heathfield landfill site near Newton Abbot in South Devon took its final delivery after 35 years of operation.

View of waste changing

Commenting on the last delivery, Ian Morrish, Director of Landfill Energy for Viridor, said: “With the way we view waste in the UK changing so dramatically from a problem to a valuable resource, landfill sites are now closing across the country.

“Resource management in the UK is now anchored around recycling as much as possible and then recovering energy from what remains. Calne has been an integral site to our South West operations over the last two decades, and now that it is shut, we are able to focus fully on the aftercare programme, although some wildlife is not waiting for us to finish, with many deer already making the site their home.”

John Lockwood, Chief Executive of Viridor Credits Environmental Company, added: “Over the lifetime of the site, Viridor Credits has been able to support a number of projects in the local area from Viridor’s contribution to the Landfill Communities Fund. Over £1.38 million of Landfill Communities Fund monies has helped to transform a range of facilities from additional football pitches at the Beversbrook Sports and Community Facility to the installation of interpretation boards at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Blackmoor Copse and Vincent’s Wood along with a wide range of other community, heritage and biodiversity projects.”