It was a topic debated in Guernsey since the early 1990s: How could the island sustainably manage its solid waste? Landfilling was long the main method of disposal, using disused former quarries, but continuing to rely on this practice wasn’t viewed as a viable long-term solution. Not least given the lack of remaining, available sites.
On-island energy from waste was initially identified as the preferred option but, after two unsuccessful attempts to procure a solution, the government opted for a new approach. In 2012, it agreed to a strategy based on the waste hierarchy, focusing on waste minimisation, reuse and recycling, with residual waste to be exported for energy recovery off-island.
As specialists in the waste sector, Wood first became involved in the project in 2012, as part of a consortium bidding to provide the facilities and services to deliver this strategy. As our relationship with the client grew, we were asked to take on the role of main contractor for the infrastructure elements.
Our long and trusted background in this sector – for permitting, regulatory support, design, and construction – enabled us to provide our client with complete one-stop capabilities. This was a major factor in securing planning permission for construction of a new 32.5K TPY waste transfer station, to handle non‐hazardous municipal, commercial and industrial waste. This was necessary to deliver the objectives of Guernsey’s approved waste strategy – namely to divert waste from landfill and treat it as a resource.
The proposed location for the facility was an area of reclaimed land within Guernsey’s Longue Hougue Industrial Area. The challenge? The site was in a visually prominent area, situated on a peninsula, surrounded by the sea, and adjacent to the island’s only livestock abattoir.
Wide ranging solutions
To win ultimate approval for the planning application, our team supported Guernsey Waste with a wide range of services that included: design; environmental impact assessments; environmental statement production; plus, transport and flood risk assessments. We also took the lead on liaising with key stakeholders in the design development phase and, in 2016, achieved planning approval for the project.
Wood worked together with a local contractor for construction. It was a full turnkey solution, with works including: a new cladded steel frame building; all external hardstandings and roads; a new office building; wheel wash; a refuse-derived fuel processing plant; a food waste processing plant; and, an odour control system.
Despite delays to the overall programme, challenges from weather conditions on site and the logistics of getting materials and specialised equipment to the island, the project was completed safely, on budget and in 18-months, which was six weeks ahead of schedule.