A new £142m energy-from-waste (EfW) plant at Millerhill in Midlothian, near Edinburgh, Scotland has received a commitment of £28m of debt finance from UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB), who are joining a lending club that includes Investec, Siemens Bank and Credit Agricole.
The 14.1 MW facility is expected to treat up to 155,000 tonnes of waste every year once complete. The waste, sourced mainly from local residences, will be pre-screened in a mechanical treatment facility to remove recyclable material before entering the energy recovery process.
The plant is forecast to generate approximately 94,000 MWh of electricity annually. It is anticipated that it will avoid greenhouse gas emissions equalling 30,000 tonnes per annum, equivalent to removing 13,800 cars from the road for the lifetime of the project.
The plant will also be combined heat and power (CHP)-ready, meaning it has the potential to supply excess heat from its operations to nearby homes and businesses.
Recycling and waste management company FCC Environment (UK) has been appointed to design, build and operate the plant by Zero Waste: Edinburgh and Midlothian, a joint venture between City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council. FCC already operates similar facilities in four locations in the UK.
Construction will commence immediately. The project is expected to create up to 350 jobs during this phase, with a further 40 operational jobs being created upon completion in 2019.
The Millerhill project is GIB’s 18th investment in Scotland. The organisation has previously backed the construction of the £74m Craigellachie combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Speyside and financed the replacement of 70,000 streetlights in Glasgow with lower-energy, lower-cost alternatives through a Green Loan.
It’s important that materials are re-used and recycled wherever possible, but it’s equally important that infrastructure is developed to increase the amounts of energy recovered from waste.
Edward Northam, Head of Investment Banking, GIB, said:
“We are supportive of steps taken in Scotland to drastically reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. It’s important that materials are re-used and recycled wherever possible, but it’s equally important that infrastructure is developed to increase the amounts of energy recovered from waste that can’t be reprocessed. The Millerhill plant will aid that process greatly and help ensure landfilling in Scotland continue to fall.”
Councillor Lesley Hinds, Environment Convenor, City of Edinburgh Council, said:
“I am pleased that FCC will now be able to begin work on this state-of-the-art facility. In Edinburgh we have made great progress to increase the amount of waste we recycle and this new facility will provide a sustainable way of disposing of any waste that can’t be recycled by using it as an energy source for locally-generated heat and power.
“The procurement of this project is an example of successful partnership working between the two councils, and will benefit both Edinburgh and Midlothian’s zero waste strategies over the coming years.”
Councillor Jim Bryant, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Midlothian Council, said:
“This represents another sizeable infrastructure investment in the Shawfair area. In addition to increasing recycling rates, the plant will produce electricity for the National Grid.”
Paul Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, FCC Environment (UK), said:
“The Millerhill Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre will play a significant role in improving recycling and reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill throughout Edinburgh and Midlothian. The project is part of the commitment of both the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to achieve these goals and helps support the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan.
The project delivers a low-carbon solution focused on landfill diversion whilst the partnership will deliver real economic and community benefits from infrastructure to jobs, supply-chain opportunities and local community engagement.”
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .