Buckinghamshire County Council's Greatmoor Energy from Waste plant, operated in partnership with FFC Environment, is sponsoring one million bees for the county of Buckinghamshire, marking a significant operational milestone of processing one million tonnes of non-recyclable waste, and celebrating three successful years of operation.
In that time the plant has welcomed more than 5,000 visitors, with over 6,000 children and adults engaged through their community outreach programme.
The first bees and hives were welcomed at Greatmoor today, 6 September, by Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment at Buckinghamshire County Council and Steve Brown, Operations Director GE+ at FCC Environment.
Also attending were representatives from TherapBEE, the Armed Forces charities SSFA and Veterans Association UK, as well as the Mid Buckinghamshire’s Beekeepers Association, the British Beekeepers Association, and Westcott Venture Park.
The Greatmoor EfW plant generates electricity from non-recyclable waste rather than sending it to landfill, is the largest single investment Buckinghamshire County Council has ever made.
Run on the authority's behalf by long-term partners FCC Environment, the plant formally commenced operation in July 2016.
To celebrate Greatmoor Energy from Waste plant’s three-year operational anniversary and to commemorate the processing of over one million tonnes of non-recyclable waste, one third of which comes from Buckinghamshire homes, FCC Environment is supporting the local environment by helping to sustain one million honeybees in Buckinghamshire County.
FCC Environment is sponsoring 20 beehives, supporting local beekeeping and providing honey-making equipment for TherapBEE.
TherapBEE is a mental health initiative in Buckinghamshire, providing therapeutic sessions for Her Majesties Forces and Emergency Services personnel in partnership with the Mid Buckinghamshire’s Beekeepers Association (MBBKA).
The local charity, part of the national British Beekeepers Association, has helped provide the first three of 20 beehives and resident bees, which were unveiled today at Greatmoor and will be installed at Westcott Venture Park, with the rest of the beehives following in spring 2020.
With a record number of plant visits during June 2019, Greatmoor EfW has welcomed its 5,000th visitor as part of its ongoing education and visitor programme.
The 5,000-person milestone was passed at an open day on 3 July when members of the public were given a tour around the plant.
On 17 July, the one millionth tonne of non-recyclable waste entered the treatment process at Greatmoor, representing one percent of the total annual waste produced in the UK.
FCC Environment at Greatmoor EfW has engaged with over 6,000 children and adults as part of its continued commitment to the community, with its successful outreach programme visiting schools, community groups and conferences to communicate the need and benefits for Energy from Waste.
Operationally, Greatmoor EfW is exceeding expectations in its output of green energy to the National Grid. On average, the plant produces enough power to supply more than 40,000 homes.
Cost savings resulting from the avoidance of landfill charges are already making a difference to the County Council's budget, helping it to provide essential services to the more vulnerable members of the community.
The plant is currently well on track to make the forecast savings to the Council of £150 million over 30 years.
Commenting on the achievements of Greatmoor over its first three years, County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment Bill Chapple OBE said: "As visitors find out when they tour the plant, Greatmoor has totally changed the way we handle our waste in Buckinghamshire.
"Instead of burying it in the ground, we use it to generate electricity that helps reduce the need for burning fossil fuels – and at the same time it makes great cost savings for the Council.
"Working with our partner FCC Environment, in three years we've been able to set Greatmoor well on track to realising our hopes and expectations for what has been the County Council's largest ever single investment.
"Greatmoor is a tremendous asset to be passing on to the new unitary authority."
FCC Environment’s Steve Brown commented: "We are extremely proud of the contribution Greatmoor makes to the county of Buckinghamshire, reducing the non-recyclable waste sent to landfill and producing green energy from it instead.
"We look forward to continuing FCC's successful partnership with the County Council and its successor.
"Being able to support one million bees for Bucks and help those from our armed forces and emergency services is a lovely and fitting way to celebrate.”
To find out more about Greatmoor, and to book your place on an open day or for a group or school visit, visit www.greatmoor.co.uk and for more information regarding ‘Pollination for the Nation Therapbee HMF + 999’ visit pollinationforthenation.co.uk.