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Christchurch Mayor hails Eco site as “very impressive”

One of the UK’s most advanced sites for organics recycling and renewable energy has been hailed as “very impressive” by the Mayor of Christchurch.

Cllr Nick Geary was speaking after a tour of Eco Sustainable Solutions’ 34-acre site at Parley.

The company, which was founded 24 years ago, annually processes 200,000 tonnes of material at Parley including green waste, waste wood and soils and aggregates. End products include enriched topsoil, compost and woodchip.

Earlier this year Eco opened a combined heat and power (CHP) biomass facility, capable of burning around 10,000 tonnes of oversize compost material annually.

Energy generated from the £6m plant is used to power Eco’s site with any excess fed into the national grid.

Eco also hosts one of the UK’s largest solar farms on land surrounding its headquarters.

Chapel Lane Solar Farm cost £50 million to develop and covers 310 acres (125 hectares), equivalent to 175 football pitches or just under 5,000 tennis courts.

It is able to generate 51.3 megawatts (MW) of low carbon ‘green’ electricity when operating at full capacity, meeting the electricity needs of three quarters of homes in Bournemouth on a typical summer’s day.

The Mayor, who was accompanied by the Mayoress, Mrs Gillian Geary, said: “I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen. The site is unrecognisable from my last visit six years or so ago.

“One of the biggest issues facing all of us is to cut down the amount of waste taken to landfill. The fact that Eco are managing to turn garden waste into compost and soil as well as generate energy from waste wood is excellent.

“It has been a fascinating tour and I congratulate Eco on a very impressive operation.”

More than 50 people, including local residents, toured Eco’s site over a two day open weekend. Bournemouth Mayor, Cllr Lawrence Williams, was also a guest.

A week earlier 70 members of the UK’s Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) saw Eco’s operations in action.

The WRA, which describes itself as ‘the voice of the waste wood industry’, was holding its summer meeting in Bournemouth with the Eco visit concluding its mini-conference.

Peter Hardy, Eco’s Commercial Director, said: “The open day allowed residents and guests to see behind-the-scenes at our busy and successful site.

“We’re very pleased at the response and also the very positive feedback received which was very much appreciated by all the team.”

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