Bear Project Moving Forward

6 April 2010, 05:00

The Bedfordshire Energy and Recycling Project could take another step forward today (Tuesday 6 April).

Central Bedfordshire council's Executive committee are meeting to discuss the scheme, and could agree to start a selection process for the company they would like to run the scheme for them.

Interested parties will then present how they would deal with the area's waste and how much it would cost.  The council say the selection process will take around two years, and that no final decision on the type of technology or its location will be made until 2012.

Councillor Budge Wells said: "BEaR is not a building, it is an idea to deal with residual waste that will be created in Central Bedfordshire in the next 25 years.

"We're looking at reaching a 60% recycling rate by 2020, and the landfill taxes that we face make putting waste into landfill a very unattractive proposition for local authorities. 

"We have to do this in a very fair way to industry in order to achieve the best possible value for money.  In order to do that we have to make sure we've seen and heard every argument from companies that want to solve our problem."

Some of the technologies available include:

  • Energy from waste - where waste would be effectively incinerated and energy drawn from the process.
  • Advanced thermal treatment or gasification - bulky items are removed before treatment, and the waste is then combusted to create a gas to be used as fuel.
  • Biological and mechanical treatment - mechanical recycling before drying the remaining waste under controlled conditions to produce a fuel.
  • Autoclave - rotating drums pulp and prepare the waste under steam pressure, which produces recyclables and other types of fuel.