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.”
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.
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