SITA UK’s Lancashire landfill gas producing enough electricity to heat and light 36,000 homes every year>

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Press release - 14 Jul 2008

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SITA UK’s Lancashire landfill gas producing enough electricity to heat and light 36,000 homes every year

New figures from recycling and waste management company, SITA UK, show that landfill gas recovered from its landfill sites in Lancashire is producing enough renewable energy to heat and light over 36,000 homes every year.

SITA UK collects the methane gas – commonly known as landfill gas, and uses it to generate electricity at its three active landfill sites across Lancashire – Clifton Marsh near Preston, Jameson Road near Fleetwood, and Whinney Hill near Accrington, and also at a number of closed sites. Together, they support landfill gas generation infrastructure with a capacity of over 23MW, which generated in excess of 120,000MWh’s during the last year.

Phil Holland, SITA UK’s General Manager for the north west, said:  “Today we are all working hard to reduce, reuse and recycle as much waste as possible before we turn to disposal methods like landfill. However, landfill will still have a place in the future, because we simply can’t reuse or recycle everything.”

He added: “Landfill gas utilisation is just one example of how we can generate renewable green energy from the waste we all throw away. We can also use waste to generate energy in other ways such as energy-from-waste plants and through anaerobic digestion, which is where biodegradable waste like food is broken down and turned into a compost like material, producing methane gas as part of the process.”

Tim Otley, General Manager for SITA Power, said: “Well managed landfill sites produce gas which can be used as a fuel to produce electricity which is then fed into the local electricity distribution network. We use specialist equipment to extract the landfill gas, and have comprehensive 24-hour monitoring systems to ensure the waste below the ground and the landfill gas created is carefully monitored and controlled as the electricity is generated and fed into the electricity distribution network.

Innovative technology is used to convert the gas generated within the landfill sites into electricity. Landfilll gas is extracted from the landfill site under a slight vacuum and delivered to specialised gas engines.  These engines turn a generator which generates electricity at 415 volts.  This then passes through a transformer which steps up the voltage to 11,000 or 33,000 volts enabling it to be directed into the local distribution network.

SITA UK works with a wide range of local authorities and businesses throughout the north west to help them maximize their recycling and minimize the amount of waste that they create.

Across the UK, the company serves over 12 million people and more than 40,000 businesses with a range of recycling and waste management services. It employs over 5,500 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £750 million. The company handles more than 10.9 million tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial waste through a network of recycling, composting, energy-from-waste and landfill facilities.

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