Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF)
The Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF), operated by Veolia, is key to the city’s contribution to tackling climate change. It is part of a private finance initiative (PFI) contract between Veolia and Leeds City Council, which became fully-operational in 2016.
The RERF significantly reduces the amount of material going to landfill since 99% of black bin (non-recyclable household) waste is converted into green energy. It also aims to boost the city’s recycling rates as the Mechanical Pre-Treatment (MPT) process is designed to remove further recyclates before the combustion process takes place.
The energy that the RERF facility generates is currently exported to the National Grid as electricity, powering up to 22,000 homes. However, a key aim is to create a district heating scheme for Leeds that will use the excess heat to provide heating and hot water to local homes and businesses providing a secure energy supply and helping tackle fuel poverty.
The energy that the RERF facility generates is currently exported to the National Grid as electricity, powering up to 22,000 homes
A further, important catalyst of the partnership between Veolia and Leeds City Council has been the Veolia Paper Pulp Facility (PPF) adjacent to the RERF, which will further process and clean the paper and card removed from the black bin (household) waste. Steam from the turbine will be used to dry out the paper and card in the PPF to produce Veolia’s Pro-Fibre product. This Pro-Fibre will then be used to make new and diverse products including animal bedding, disposable cupholders and bedpans.
Veolia’s activities in Leeds all forms part of its "Resourcing the World" vision, which focuses on carbon reduction by preventing pollution, preserving natural resources, protecting biodiversity, combating climate change and raising environmental awareness. To achieve this, Veolia has transformed its business from a traditional provider of water, waste and energy services to one that brings resource efficiency to its customers and reduces their impact – and its own – on the environment.