The Waste Local Plan for Essex and Southend (2001) identifies six sites within the county, which are suitable for waste treatment facilities. Among these is Courtauld Road in Basildon. Urbaser Balfour Beatty are proposing a new sustainable waste treatment facility for Essex and Southend at Courtauld Road. The new facility will use mechanical biological treatment technology.
Mechanical Biological Treatment
Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) is the name given to several processes that are used to treat waste. MBT involves mechanical and biological methods of treating the waste.
The mechanical part refers to the processes used for preparing and separating the waste. Mechanical techniques such as shredding are used to reduce the size of the waste. The biological part refers to a composting stage.
The MBT facility proposed by Urbaser Balfour Beatty will process residual (black bag) waste through a mechanical treatment stage where materials that can be recycled – such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics and glass – will be recovered from the waste. What is left will be processed by a ‘biostabilisation’ process. This biological process will cause the mass of the waste to reduce and it will also dry it.
After six weeks the waste has become stabilised, meaning it won’t be able to break down, or decompose, any more and so it can be landfilled and/or used as a solid recovered fuel for use in energy plants.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty submitted a detailed planning application and environmental statement for the proposed MBT facility to the Waste Planning Authority in March 2012.
Your elected members from the Development and Regulation Committee voted in favour of recommending approval for the application on 27 July 2012.
The section 106 legal agreement (the legally binding planning obligations) for Courtauld Road was signed off in December 2012 and subsequently the formal planning permission was issued.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty started construction of the new waste treatment facility in March 2013. In late 2014 the MBT facility started its commissioning phase. This means that waste is being taken to it from some of the district and borough council collections so that Urbaser Balfour Beatty are able to test and check all the equipment to make sure everything works as it should before the facility becomes fully operational later in 2015.