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Making our site cleaner and greener than ever before.

Last week we announced plans to develop a gasification plant on our site near Rockcliffe, Carlisle. And now we are delighted to share a few more details with you.


Sadly, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. Most is burnt  for energy  and the rest ends up as plastic waste in the environment. Whilst manufacturers of plastic packaging are improving processes and materials used, and households are recycling in record numbers, the progress is slow.

In reality, a lot of the waste is contaminated, and cannot be separated or recycled. This ‘black bin’ waste is a mix of plastic, food waste, textiles and other material. The unfortunate fact is that this waste is burnt or landfilled, causing significant environmental damage. To put this in context, the UK generates 13 million tonnes of this non-recyclable waste every year.


We will feed waste which cannot be recycled into a vessel that is heated to a high temperature with very limited oxygen (so the waste is not burnt). The solid waste turns into a gas and the very high temperature in the heating vessel breaks the complex molecular forms of the plastics, food waste etc into two simple fuel molecules – one of which is Hydrogen. The gas produced is often known as synthetic gas, or syngas for short.

Importantly, Syngas is incredibly clean. When combusted in an engine, the greenhouse gas emissions from syngas (0.2KgCO2) are less than natural gas (0.8KgCO2)

In addition, the syngas we produce will be used in an engine to turn an alternator to provide electricity to power the whole Rockcliffe Recycling Facility. We will not have any gas storage on site – the process can be started and stopped quickly (stopped in less than 2 minutes) – so gas storage is not needed. The exhaust gas will be continuously monitored and will meet strict emissions standards.

Moreover, the production of syngas is silent and the engines will be in acoustic containers. So there will be no noise pollution.

Furthermore, the production of syngas with the gasification plant generates no odour.

There is simply no hazardous ash. Ash from the process  is removed as vitrified stones – used to replace mined aggregate in construction. No chemicals are required to clean the gas – the heat ‘cleans’ the gas.


At a local and regional level, this type of clean fuel generation is a potential game changer. In the initial stage, our plan will power and fuel our entire 30 acre site and all of our vehicles. This in itself would be massive for us, and a first for the region.

But plainly its potential goes much further – we can’t wait to share more with you.

Stay tuned for more updates and sign up to news alerts for the latest developments.

Syngas Plant
CGI of Syngas Plant – North West Recycling

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