Westray Zero Waste Centre
Mr Colin Risbridger
Westray Development Trust
Tel: 01857 677 790
Westray Development Trust was established in 1998. It is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee with a remit to address socio-economic factors contributing to population decline on the island. Its vision is to develop the economic, social and cultural sustainability of its community by harnessing the quality of its resources, people and island environment.
Westray is the largest of Orkneys north isles with a population of just under 600. Westray is participating in the EU Campaign for Take-Off, which has committed the island to become a 100% renewable energy community, aiming to produce the equivalent amount of renewable energy as is consumed at present from fossil fuel derived energy.
Westray Development Trust proposed to set up the Westray Zero Waste Centre, which will include a 400m3 anaerobic digestion plant to be installed at a purpose-built site on the island. Transforming Waste Scotland is providing funding towards the cost of establishing the new site.
Food waste, garden waste, organic household waste, paper, cardboard, seaweed and cattle slurry will be fed into the plant. Vegetable oil from Westray Development Trusts existing biofuels project may also be added.
The outputs from the anaerobic digester will be methane gas, solid digestate material, liquor and heat. The methane gas produced will be burned in a gas engine to generate on average 80kW of renewable electricity (440,000kWh per annum). The anaerobic digestion plant will generate enough electricity from methane to ensure the site is self-sufficient in energy terms, and Westray Development Trust estimates that it should also be able to deliver over 30% of the minimum electricity demand of Westray. The solid digestate from the anaerobic digester will be used as compost, and the liquor as a nutrient-rich fertiliser.
1 full-time Waste Centre Manager will be recruited to deliver the project. 1 part-time post will also be created to operate and maintain the plant. 6 volunteers will be recruited and will participate in site preparation works, marketing and publicity. Staff and volunteers will receive training on the operation of the combined heat & power engines, and the anaerobic digestion plant.
Westray Development Trust aims to divert 207 tonnes of organic household waste from landfill in the first year of the project. Once fully operational, 7000 tonnes of biological waste per annum will be processed. It is expected that all 240 households on Westray will participate.
The Westray Zero Waste Centre will demonstrate how renewable energy and waste management can be complimentary and sustainable. Results will be disseminated through the Orkney Zero Waste Initiative, SEPA National Waste Strategy Local Group and Orkney Renewable Energy Forum, encouraging networking and the creation of an advice and support framework for community-based reuse and recycling projects.