Turning London Trash Into Green Energy

Wasting waste? Rubbish! The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) recently announced it is awarding a £4 ($6.5) million loan to Orchid Environmental Limited in order to establish a new plant turning household trash into renewable energy, creating 52 permanent green jobs in the process.

The new renewable fuel facility, located in the London Borough of Bexley, will gather waste from homes and businesses in the surrounding area, remove recyclables, and transform the remaining trash into different types of low-carbon fuel. These fuels will then be used in renewable energy plants and by industrial heat users, preventing over 38,000 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year.

Orchid's waste separation process

image via Orchid Environmental

This project is the first waste-to-renewable fuel plant the LWARB has supported, and is based on Orchid’s 80,000 ton Merseyside facility, which has been in operation since April 2008. Orchid’s technology reportedly has been shown to divert approximately 85 percent of all waste from winding up in the landfill, while creating usable fuels.

The new facility falls in line with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Climate Change and Energy Strategy, which seeks 25 percent of London’s energy to be derived from low carbon sources located within the city by 2025.

EarthTechling wants your opinion! Take EarthTechling’s 3-minute reader survey and enter to win a $250 Amazon gift card.  The 2011 survey closes on April 15, 2011.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.