Plans to create an Eco Park to treat waste and generate green electricity were given the go-ahead by the Government today.
Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, decided there was no need to further review the decision to grant planning permission for the development at Charlton Lane in Shepperton.
The Eco Park will help Surrey towards achieving its long-term aim to eliminate the use of landfill, which costs the county £600,000 every month in taxes alone while also damaging the environment.
It will deal with 40,000 tonnes of food waste and 60,000 tonnes of household rubbish a year in a more environmentally friendly way, as well as generating enough electricity to power thousands of homes.
The Eco Park will feature a batch oxidisation gasification facility* and an anaerobic digester** that will sit alongside improved recycling and waste transfer facilities.
Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge said: “This is very good news for the people of Surrey. The Eco Park will have huge financial and environmental benefits for our county.”
Ian Lake, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “The Eco Park will help reduce our £600,000-a-month landfill tax bill by disposing of waste in a more cost effective way, while generating green electricity from rubbish that can’t be recycled and which previously would have been buried in the ground.
“It will also reduce the amount of greenhouse gases Surrey produces by diverting 100,000 tonnes of waste away from landfill each year.”
Members of Surrey County Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee approved the Eco Park planning application from SITA Surrey*** in June. As is routine with such developments, the decision was then referred to the Secretary of State who decided he was happy for the planning permission to be issued.
Notes to editors
* Batch oxidisation gasification involves heating waste to produce a gas which is then combusted to produce heat and steam. This is used to produce electricity.
** Anaerobic digestion is a simple process in which biodegradable material, such as food waste, is broken down by micro organisms in sealed, airtight containers in the absence of oxygen. The process produces biogas which is converted into electricity. A material is left over which can be used instead of artificial fertilisers and peat.
*** SITA Surrey is contracted by Surrey County Council to deal with waste.