PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Policy WM 2: Waste Treatment and Energy Recovery (EfW)
7.16 Incineration is an established method of treating waste to reduce its volume and weight before disposal or to remove the hazardous content of materials. Incinerators range from small plants serving factories or hospitals to large scale installations for the treatment of municipal and other wastes. Incinerators have the potential for energy recovery in the form of electricity and/or heat and power which may provide additional environmental benefit and is higher up the waste hierarchy than treatment without energy recovery (paragraph 1.21). Incinerators and other thermal treatment facilities such as pyrolysis and gasification will be expected to maximise energy recovery in the form of electricity and/or heat and power, subject to the feed waste stream and prevailing technology and economics. This policy relates to all incineration facilities with the exception of those designed to be ancillary to an existing development and special waste facilities where energy recovery is not practical.
7.17 In considering incineration facilities the visual impact of the proposed plant is an important consideration. Modern energy from waste incineration plants comprise substantial buildings with a high chimney stack and may form a prominent feature in the local townscape. When proposed within the rural area careful consideration will be given to the impact of the facility on the landscape. In all cases a suitable landscaping scheme will be required.
7.18 Other emerging thermal treatment technologies include gasification and pyrolysis. Anaerobic digestion is a further technology which produces energy from the treatment of organic wastes. These technologies involve processes carried out in enclosed plant which limit emissions to the atmosphere. Some of these processes could therefore play a more significant future role in waste management.
7.19 For all EfW facilities, proximity to waste arisings, the significant traffic generated and heat and energy considerations point to locations within or close to urban areas with good accessibility to the main road network. It is important that waste is delivered and residues removed in properly designed vehicles to ensure the avoidance of spillages. Significant environmental and economic advantages may accrue when large EfW facilities are located adjacent to rail heads and ports.