While landfill gas has traditionally been the main source of extracted energy from landfill sites, FCC Environment is now sourcing another form of energy from its sites.
The company has harvested its first crop of biomass fuel grown on two of its restored landfill and quarry sites.
The 30 hectare sites in Darrington, West Yorkshire and Calverton, Nottinghamshire were sown with a fast growing miscanthus grass crop, which is expected to yield up to 300 tonnes of biomass fuel once fully established.
It will be sent to the Drax power station to be used as a fuel, when harvested.
FCC Environment senior restoration and energy crops manager Mark Pailing said: “Energy security and resource scarcity are two of the key themes of our age and using former landfill sites to grow crops for the generation of carbon-neutral energy is part of our response.
“We specify select crops which will aid the long-term restoration of the sites, thereby providing a further benefit to the process.
“We aim to have more sites in production in the coming months and years as we continue to move towards a resource-focused solution to managing the waste we all generate.”
The company is also investigating the use of treated landfill leachate in a controlled irrigation system to water crops on some FCC Environment landfill sites.