The development is costing £1.2 billion over 25-years. Andrew Jones MP put forward an argument that there were many recylcing plants nearby and this was not needed. Locals argued against the development on the basis of air pollution and being a blot on the landscape. The plant has grown to be a blot on the landscape, especially when travelling south on the A1(M), in the approach to the turn-off to Harrogate your are greeted by the plant in full view.
The plant will process household and commercial waste collected in North Yorkshire, which had previously been sent to landfill. Allerton Waste Recovery Park, which Amey will operate for 25 years on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council is currently being commissioned.
During coming months the plant will be fully tested and the amount of waste being treated will be gradually increased until it becomes fully operational in early 2018.
When it is operating at full capacity, Amey say they will divert more than 230,000 tonnes from landfill reducing the total amount being landfilled by more than 90%. It will also export 24MW of electricity every hour to the National Grid – enough to power the equivalent of 40,000 homes.
Construction began in January 2015 with the excavation of more than 55,000 tonnes of earth to create the waste bunkers. Since then almost two million hours have been worked and more than 700 people have been employed in the construction programme.
Mark James from Amey, Construction Manager at Allerton Waste Recovery Park, said:
This is a really exciting time, after nearly three years of construction we are ready to start treating waste.
Councillor Andrew Lee Executive Member for Waste Management at North Yorkshire County Council said:
This is the start of a new era of waste treatment for the county which will see us moving away from landfill operations and instead utilise household waste as a resource to generate energy.
Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the Environment at City of York Council added:
This is a big step forward. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help York’s residents reduce the amount of waste produced and recycle more; this plant through mechanical sorting and ‘digestion’ of organic waste will help to avoid landfill whilst also producing energy.
Amey have declined all requests for a site visit, both during construction and now during the commissioning phase.