BAN Waste Select Committee evidence

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Phase 1 Day 4 2001-10-08 Fred Audley (Senrec Ltd)

written evidence submitted in advance

SENREC LTD - COMPOST OPERATION

The plant has now been in operation for over a year and handles an averages of 350 tonnes of green waste per month.

The green waste is brought in by three Local Authorities - Blyth Valley Borough Council from their parks department and Wansbeck District Council and Castle Morpeth Borough Council from household kerbside collections.

Northumberland County Council also deliver green waste in from seven Civic Amenity sites and are hoping to increase to 14 sites at a later date.

Once the waste arrives on site it is deposited in a quarantine area where it is checked for any unsuitable material. From the quarantine area it is then passed through a shredding machine, which reduces the size of the material, which is then stored in windrows.

The windrows are turned at least once per week to introduce oxygen into the compost which enables the bacteria to break down the compost quicker.

The compost is monitored for temperature changes and moisture content. Normally after 19 weeks the temperature settles to that of the surrounding hall and is therefore ready for screening.

The screening plant removes any oversize material and by changing the meshes when required we can make various grades of compost from very fine material to coarse material. The oversize material is put back into the unprocessed windrows to allow it to break down further and be processed at a later date. Thus there is no waste.

The processed material is then either sold in bagged form i.e. 50 ltr or 80 ltr bags or loose direct into tipper wagons.

The Local Authorities reuse the compost in their various planting schemes and we also supply garden centers and the public direct. We have built up a good name for our product which is becoming more and more popular.

There has been particular interest shown from organic growers.

The gate fee we charge covers the cost of the operation, which only requires one full time employee, and the profit is made from selling the end product.

After various trials both Local Authorities and County Hall are happy with the way things have progressed and are now looking to expand their operations to increase their input figures.

The site is capable of processing 15,000 Tonnes p.a. which is an enormous amount of high quality reusable material deflected from landfill.