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Managing household waste in Cornwall

In October 2006, SITA Cornwall Ltd (now Cornwall Energy Recovery Ltd) was awarded a 30-year contract to manage waste in Cornwall. We work with Cornwall Council to reuse, recycle and put waste to good use throughout the county.

The mission

To deliver a sustainable and integrated waste management solution for Cornwall, reducing the amount of waste that’s sent to landfill.

Our solution

We work to reduce waste in the first place and then boost re-use, recycling and composting. Any waste that’s left over after recycling is converted into energy.

SUEZ operates 13 household waste recycling centres in Cornwall, used by over one million people each year. We invested over £15 million in these household waste recycling centres, redeveloping seven and building five new centres to provide residents with modern, accessible facilities to help them recycle as much of their waste as possible.

We operate materials recycling facilities at Bodmin and Pool, with an education centre at the Bodmin facility to encourage visitors to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste and to learn how their waste is recycled first hand.

We also manage the Cornwall energy recovery centre, which opened in 2017. This facility, situated in St Dennis, handles waste that is left after recycling and supports education in waste management and the environment, with its dedicated visitor centre that hosts visits from schools and adult groups.

Before the energy recovery centre was built, Cornwall’s non-recyclable waste was disposed of at the Connon Bridge landfill, near Liskeard.

The results

Recycling rates have increased from around 25% to over 60%.

The materials recycling facilities at Bodmin and Pool recycle over 98% of the dry recyclables that are brought there.

The Cornwall energy recovery centre recovers energy from approximately 240,000 tonnes of waste per year. It exports over 16 megawatts of electricity – that’s enough to meet the energy requirements of 21,000 households each year.

The ash produced by burning the waste is processed on site and recycled to create a secondary aggregate for use in construction projects. Metals are also extracted from the ash and recycled.

The Cornwall energy recovery centre won the Sustainable Project of the year award at the 2017 Michelmores Property Awards, which celebrate outstanding property and construction projects in the south west.  The judges commended the project, commenting ‘This is a complex project to deliver and the end result is very impressive…The judges were also impressed with the visitor centre, and the efforts to involve the local community with the project.”

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