18th June 2018

Cornwall Council and SUEZ celebrate official opening of Cornwall energy recovery centre

Representatives of Cornwall Council and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, were joined by local community representatives on Friday to celebrate the official opening of the Cornwall energy recovery centre in St Dennis.

The facility, which became fully operational in March 2017, is part of a network of facilities that together effectively manages household waste from residents in Cornwall. The aim of which is to increase reuse and recycling, and put waste in Cornwall left after recycling to good use as a fuel to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 21,000 homes each year.

The opening event showcased some of the projects that were awarded grants by the St Dennis and Nanpean Community Trust. Established to serve the communities around the energy recovery centre the trust receives a percentage of the revenue from the energy generated by the facility together with funding from Cornwall Council.

To date over £370,000 have been awarded to local community projects, including the St Dennis Playing Field, Nanpean Social Club and most recently a new minibus for St Dennis Academy.

To mark the occasion, the winners of a competition for school children around Cornwall to design and make an insect or bird house from reused or recycled materials were presented with their prizes. The winning designs, which will be displayed on the footpath around the energy recovery centre, were created by:

  • Ayla Berriman, aged 4, Perranporth Primary School
  • Minnie Bauer and Melissa Zalick, year 7, Liskeard School and Community College
  • Devon Oakes, aged 8, St Petroc’s Primary School
  • Mia Ashley, aged 8, St Petroc’s Primary School.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: “What makes Cornwall special, apart from the wonderful scenery and its unique culture and language, is the integrated approach it takes to the management of its waste and recycling. Today we are delighted to celebrate the first full year of operations of the Cornwall energy recovery centre, a key piece of our network of operations that, working together with Cornwall Council, ensures we get the most value and use out of Cornwall’s precious resources.”

Leader for Cornwall Council Adam Paynter added: “Today is a great opportunity to acknowledge the success of Cornwall energy recovery centre’s first year of operations which shows that Cornwall can be virtually self-sufficient in managing household waste from our residents.  Cornwall as a Council now sends very minimal waste to landfill and we are continuing to look for ways to further reduce this so we can further protect our beautiful environment.”

Councillor Sue James Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection added: “The facility shows that we are delivering major change as to how we manage our waste in Cornwall. Today we can celebrate that most of our residents’ household waste left over after all efforts have been taken to reduce, reuse and recycle is now used effectively – as a fuel to safely and sustainably generate a huge amount of electricity which is exported to the National Grid for use by you and I.”

In its first year, the facility processed over 235,000 tonnes of waste left after recycling, generating over 150,000 megawatt hours of energy for the National Grid.

The dedicated, interactive visitor centre has proved popular with schools and community groups.  Over 1,700 people have been welcomed since it opened last year, with visitors able to see behind the scenes and experience first-hand what happens to their waste after it is collected from their homes.

At the event SUEZ and Cornwall Council also announced the publication of Managing Cornwall’s household waste, its first annual report on how the organisations are working together towards the priorities laid out in Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy.

The report looks at initiatives from the past year that is helping Cornwall to reuse and recycle more of its waste and preserve its natural environment. These range from the restoration of the United Mines landfill to the addition of pots, tubs and trays recycling at the kerbside.

Reflecting on the successes of this first year of full service operations, the report outlines the commitment from SUEZ and Cornwall Council to continue working towards a cleaner, greener Cornwall for everyone.

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