One of the country's largest recycling facilities has been given the green light to power its operations with a new Sustainable Energy Plant
The permit from the Environment Agency (EA) will enable Kemsley Mill to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and to generate heat and electricity from up to 550,000 tonnes of pre-treated waste a year that might otherwise go to landfill.
Kemsley Mill, which is owned by DS Smith Paper, is the UK's largest waste paper recycler, producing more than 850,000 tonnes of 100 per cent recycled paper and pulp a year.
The EA decision to grant the permit follows the unanimous backing the application for the proposed plant received when it went before Kent County Council's planning committee in April.
"Using waste that can't practicably be recycled to help fuel the recycling of nearly a quarter of the paper recycled in the UK fits well with our long term strategy to develop an environmentally sustainable business," said DS Smith Paper commercial director Will Faure Walker.
"As the country's largest recycler of waste paper, Kemsley Mill already has strong environmental credentials with every tonne of paper recycled rather than sent to landfill saving the emission of 900kg (0.9 tonnes) of carbon dioxide.
"The proposed Sustainable Energy Plant will strengthen the recycling loop, further enhance our environmental performance and result in a 200,000 tonne net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions a year, equivalent to taking more than 90,000 cars off the road."
It is hoped to begin construction of the new Sustainable Energy Plant in spring 2013 with completion scheduled for 2016. The plant will be developed and operated by E.ON and Wheelabrator Technologies.