FCC Environment uses former landfill and quarry sites for ‘energy crops’

One of the UK’s leading resource and waste management companies, FCC Environment is using its landbank to grow ‘energy crops’ for biomass fuel. The company has been planting Miscanthus grass, commonly referred to as elephant grass, at several of its old landfill and quarry sites across the country that it has restored following their closure.

FCC Environment recently harvested this year’s crop, and produced over 420 tonnes, which will typically produce 1,983,333 KW of low carbon energy, enough to power around 531 homes for a year.

Anthony Porter, Senior Engineering & Restoration Manager at FCC Environment commented: “As the UK looks to meet its Net Zero targets, we need to be constantly thinking about what changes we can make to achieve them, no matter how small. Miscanthus grass is a truly sustainable renewable energy crop that is seeing rising demand for UK heat and power generation due to its rapid growth, low maintenance, low mineral content, lifespan of over 20 years and high biomass yield. These factors, along with its remarkable environmental credentials, make it the ideal biomass fuel.”

One of the sites where the leading waste and recycling company grows the Miscanthus is at Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire. The 20 hectare site currently yields around 175 tonnes of the carbon neutral biomass fuel now that the crop is established, however, FCC Environment is working to increase the harvested area to 40 hectares, giving it the potential to produce around 350 tonnes in the coming years.

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