U.K. facility to recycle, compost, generate biogas

By Susanne Retka Schill
Web exclusive posted Dec. 5, 2008 at 11:12 a.m. CST

A project to maximize the recycling of household waste in the United Kingdom has contracted with Kirk Environmental Ltd. to build two anaerobic digesters. The consortium of Global Renewables Ltd. and Bovis Lend Lease U.K. contracted with Kirk Environmental to build the plants for Lancashire County Council.

The biogas projects at Leyland and Thorton will reduce landfill needs by treating household waste in anaerobic digesters to produce biogas for electrical generation. They are part of a larger project being developed by recycling company Global Renewables, with Bovis Lend Lease providing project management and construction services. Fully enclosed waste receiving centers will handle pre-sorted recyclables in a materials recovery facility and garden and kitchen waste in a dedicated composting facility. Residual waste will be treated with Global Renewables' trademarked UR-3R Process to recover inorganic recyclables from organics. Percolators treat the remaining organic portion, with the solids sent to the composting facility and liquids to the anaerobic digesters. The Leyland facility will treat 305,000 tons of household waste per year and the Thorton facility will treat 276,000 tons.

Kirk Environmental began work on the anaerobic digester system in October with completion scheduled for mid-2009. The contract is estimated at $2.9 million and involves installing 22 tanks, two of Kirk's trademarked Biodome Gas Holders and ancillary equipment. With more than 100 years of experience in steel manufacturing, Kirk specializes in anaerobic digestion tanks. According to the company, its Biodome Gas Holder is unique in the industry, with a high strength, double membrane gas holder that can be designed as a free standing unit or installed on top of steel and concrete tanks.