One main treatment facility gives us the best economic and environmental solution. Other facilities will still be used for the management and local landfill of waste not suitable for treatment.
Allerton Waste Recovery Park was initially developed in partnership with Amey but the facility is now operated in partnership with Thalia Waste Management. Allerton Waste Recovery Park opened in 2018 and can process up to 320,000 tonnes of waste per year from York and North Yorkshire councils. Through a combination of three technologies, it is reducing the amount of household rubbish being sent to landfill by at least 90%. This is done by:
- a mechanical treatment plant receives general rubbish mainly originating from household bins not recycling and removes any remaining metal and plastics for recycling
- an anaerobic digestion plant treats the organic waste part and produces a biogas which generates renewable electricity
- an energy from waste plant burns the waste which remains after separation of the recyclables and treatment of organic waste, producing steam to feed an electricity generating turbine that produces enough electricity to supply about 40,000 homes
The visitor and education centre is open for educational and community groups. To book a visit for your group please go to the Waste Education Experience website.
The facility was constructed at the Allerton landfill and quarry site and became fully operational in Spring 2018. View our Amey Allerton timelapse video on YouTube.
Allerton Park Landscape and Cultural Heritage Fund grants scheme
The planning agreement for Allerton Waste Recovery Park was signed in February 2013 and included proposals for a landscape and cultural heritage fund. We worked with Two Ridings Community Foundation to deliver this fund.
The fund was designed to assist with projects which enhance the landscape, cultural heritage and biodiversity of the designated area of benefit around the facility. It also supported projects which mitigate the visual effects of the site within that same area.
Since the first awards were made in April 2016, 122 applications were received to the fund and 92 awards were made with a total value of £742,126.
The project has been a huge success and the fund closed in 2020. The final report produced by Two Ridings Community Foundation is now available.
Frequently asked questions
Why are you only using one waste treatment site?
Why can't we recycle more?
The facility will recover as much recyclable material from our waste as it is cost effective to do so. But the reality is, however much is recycled, there will always remain a proportion of the waste produced by homes and businesses which can only be disposed of by landfill or by incineration.
Since landfill is no longer a financially or environmentally viable option, this material must be disposed of through a different way, such as the energy from waste technology that will be used at Allerton Waste Recovery Park.
What happens to the ash produced?
Incinerator bottom ash is the material which comes out of the grate at the end of the energy from waste process. It is mostly a mix of ceramics, slag and glass.
The ash produced at the Allerton Waste Recovery Park will be recycled to create materials for the construction industry. There is an increasing market for these materials in highway construction, with several highway authorities emphasising use of recycled products.
Air pollution control residues - often referred to as fly ash - is made up of lime, activated carbon and dust from the flue gases which are removed at the final stage of the energy for waste process.
Fly ash is classified as hazardous waste. However, because the dust is alkaline, Allerton Waste Recovery Park has proposed to transport the residues by specialist sealed powder tankers to a landfill site (or sites) licensed to deal with hazardous waste.
What will the energy from waste plant treat?
The plant will treat household waste which remains after recycling and sorting has taken place, plus a small amount of local commercial and industrial waste generated from shops, offices, restaurants and businesses.
Will the facility handle commercial waste and charge for it?
North Yorkshire Council has a statutory duty to manage locally generated commercial and industrial waste collected by the waste collection authorities.
Thalia Waste Management will offer any spare capacity to local businesses for the disposal of commercial waste. This commercial waste will be indistinguishable from household waste or commercial waste already collected by the council.
What about impacts on health and the environment?
The planning application included detailed assessments of the environmental impact of the proposal, including traffic movements and the visual impact on the landscape.
There is an environmental permit from the Environment Agency for Allerton Waste Recovery Park. Energy from Waste is a tried and tested technology and the emissions from Energy from Waste plants are subject to strict monitoring by the Environment Agency. If the plant fails to comply with the conditions of the permit which relate to emissions, it could lead to enforcement action being taken.
What is the history of the Allerton Waste Recovery Park project and what background information is there about the waste treatment contract?
In September 2007, a contract notice was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) inviting companies to tender for a long-term contract to manage the final treatment of York and North Yorkshire's residual household waste.
Prior to this, the councils had worked together to prepare an outline business case which was submitted to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This document reflected the waste management position at that time and was the basis for the successful application for £65million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits.
The closing date for receipt of the outline solutions was December 2007 and in January 2008 a shortlist of four participating companies was produced. These companies were invited to submit detailed solutions to the councils. Once the solutions had been evaluated, two companies were taken forward. Amey was then selected as the councils' preferred bidder for the contract.
The councils worked closely with Defra and the Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme to progress each stage of the project. Following the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010, the councils received confirmation the project had retained the provisional allocation of credit support for the project.
Members of City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council agreed to award a contract for the long-term management of waste to Amey in December 2010.
At its meeting on 30 October 2012, our planning and regulatory functions committee considered the report of the corporate director for business and environmental services on Amey's planning application for Allerton Waste Recovery Park. The committee heard representations from the public, local opposition groups and Amey. Members agreed with the report's recommendation and voted to approve the application. View the report from the planning committee meeting.
They also agreed with the report's recommendation that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government should be consulted on the application and the committee's decision. The Secretary of State decided not to hold a public enquiry and the planning decision notice was issued on 14 February 2013.
An application was made for a judicial review of the planning decision. This was refused by the High Court in July 2013. The High Court's decision was then appealed and at a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London on 15 October 2013, the appeal was also refused.
Amey was granted an environmental permit from the Environment Agency in July 2013 and the judicial review period expired without challenge in October 2013.
On 21 February 2013, Defra withdrew £65million PFI credits allocation, however, the council worked with Amey to finalise funding for the project and financial close took place on 30 October 2014.
The Freedom of Information Act (2000) gives a general right of access to all types of 'recorded' information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions by which information may be withheld and places a number of obligations on public authorities. The councils have previously published information about the project and will continue to publish as much information as possible including contract documents (marginally redacted to protect commercially confidential information).
A redacted version of the Waste PPP Contract can be requested if you contact us.
- Video of planning committee decision meeting, 30 October 2012: The meeting can be viewed on YouTube in three parts (due to the length of the meeting) - 30 October 2012 meeting: part one video, 30 October 2012 meeting: part two video, and 30 October 2012 meeting: part three video.
- Video of extraordinary county council meeting , 24 September 2014: The county council held an extraordinary meeting where it endorsed the decision of the executive to proceed to financial close for the long-term waste contract, subject to the final costs being within the value for money envelope. The meeting can be viewed on YouTube in four parts (due to the length of the meeting) - 24 September 2014 meeting: part one video, 24 September 2014 meeting: part two video, 24 September 2014 meeting: part three video, and 24 September 2014 meeting: part four video. You can view minutes of the meeting here.
Allerton Waste Recovery Park
Operational, visitor and education centre enquiries should be directed to Thalia who manage the facility:
Telephone: 03337 777 058
Website: Thalia Waste Management website