Veolia Environmental Services (UK) plc and Staffordshire County Council have been awarded the Best Example of Community Engagement in Energy from Waste at an awards event in Birmingham for The Environment and Energy Awards.
Veolia won the award after taking over the community engagement consultation following an already extensive process by Staffordshire County Council for the construction of an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF).
A range of communication methods were used to inform local residents, with one of the most effective being the setting up of a Community Liaison Group. The group meets at regular intervals, usually on site, where they receive updates on construction and discuss a wide range of topics that include traffic, landscape and explanations on how the ERF will operate. The group have supported plans that have facilitated large proportions of local employment and suppliers during the construction phase and will continue when the facility becomes operational in December 2013.
Donald Macphail, Veolia Environmental Services Regional Director for the West Midlands said “This award recognises the importance of partnership working and engaging with the local community. Engagement has been key throughout this project and will continue in the future.”
Ian Benson, Staffordshire County Council’s Commissioner for the Sustainable County said:“I am very pleased that we have been recognised with this award for our community engagement activities. We have worked hard with Veolia to make sure that we have involved the local community throughout the project.
“The development of the new plant is all part of our 'Zero Waste to Landfill' plan, which is tackling the problem of domestic waste for Staffordshire and our partners Walsall, Sandwell and Warwickshire. We are dedicated to maximising recycling first, and then recovering energy from the left over residual waste. “In working with Veolia, we will provide renewable power equivalent to the needs of 32,000 homes while creating 40 jobs. We will also make savings of £250million over the next 25 years.”