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Composting plant plan for Aylsham

PUBLISHED: 15:25 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:42 20 May 2010

A pioneering recycling plant which would turn North Norfolk's food and garden waste into compost is planned for farmland site near Aylsham.

The unit is the latest part of a countywide initiative to reduce the amount of rubbish that gets dumped in holes in the ground.

A pioneering recycling plant which would turn North Norfolk's food and garden waste into compost is planned for farmland site near Aylsham.

The unit is the latest part of a countywide initiative to reduce the amount of rubbish that gets dumped in holes in the ground.

But on Monday would-be operators will meet concerned local residents in a bid to allay their fears about traffic, odour and noise problems.

Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (News) plan to run the unit at Marsham as a development of their recycling complex at Costessey and to replace a satellite site at Mayton Wood near Coltishall whose lease runs out in 2009.

It would be at an old piggery owned by farmer Roger Crane, with the resultant compost being spread across his farm fields.

Inside a “sealed” shed, lorries laden with a mix of garden waste and plate scrapings would be tipped, and the refuse put into concrete vessels, where it rotted for a couple of weeks, with the odour drawn off through a biological filter, and the liquor sludge either recycled in to the system or tankered away to sewage treatment plants.

The compost like material was then spread over a large outside area, where it was mechanically turned over for another four to six weeks, before being used on the land.

News local authority contracts manager Steve Jenkins said the refuse would come from North Norfolk's brown bins, and the equivalent in Broadland.

People are not currently allowed to put food waste in such bins, but could do once the new plant was up and running.

He could understand the concerns of local people, who fear that the site could produce heavy traffic, smells, dust, and noise.

But the site was a mile from the village and the Marsham Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest and the controls in place should ensure there was no impact.

Many of the trucks, up to 10 a day when it was running at full capacity handling 48,000 tonnes a year, were already going to the composting facility at Mayton Wood, and would simply be turning a different direction off the A140 road, down the sparsely populated Buxton Road.

The plant was a key part of initiatives countywide to increase recycling, as landfill sites filled up, landfill taxes rose, and recycling targets increased.

Up to half of the rubbish going in normal household bins, currently going to landfill, was food waste, which could be handled using the new plant.

A new multi million pound mechanical biological treatment plant was also being built at Costessey and by 2011 would be sifting and rotting general waste into compost, but which is less pure and not usable in agriculture. So News say there is also a need for Marsham to provide a range of processes and recycled products.

The public meeting is at Marsham village hall on Monday at 7.30pm, with representatives from News, and Mr Crane, attending to explain the plans.

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