Project Overview

Waste Disposal

  • The Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will process over 545,000 tonnes of solid waste that cannot be sensibly recycled, helping to move the UK away from dependence on landfilling waste.
  • The facility will also help to reverse the UK trend of exporting non-recyclable waste to EfW plants in other countries, enabling the UK to become self-sufficient in managing its own waste and achieve compliance with landfill diversion targets.

Energy Generation

  • The facility will use municipal, commercial and non-hazardous industrial residual waste as fuel to generate over 60 megawatts of low carbon energy - enough electricity to power the equivalent of over 112,500 homes.
  • EfW facilities avoids the need for fossil fuels such as coal that would be used to generate the same volume of electricity.

Did You Know?

The Rookery South ERF will bring many community, employment, infrastructure and environmental benefits to the Bedford area. Approximately 9,000 households in the local area could be eligible for the Rookery South Community Energy Initiative, an innovative scheme which will reduce home electricity by 10% each year. -

State-of-the-art Design and Technology

  • Designed to achieve very high overall energy efficiency and energy recovery, the Rookery South ERF will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week once the facility starts operations in 2022.
  • The facility will employ state-of-the-art pollution control equipment to scrub and filter emissions ensuring the ERF will be fully protective of human health and the environment, ensuring the plant will operate well within the strict requirements of British and EU legislation.

Job Creation

  • More than 300 jobs will be created during construction, with many opportunities and benefits for local people.
  • Covanta and Veolia have developed a Local Employment Plan that will target local employment, local supplies of materials and services, and encourage training of employees. To help achieve this, Covanta has joined the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce to get the message out to the Chamber's large network of businesses about supply chain and direct recruitment opportunities.
  • When the facility comes online in 2022, it will create over 50 new permanent operational roles. 

Planning and Permitting

In 2013, the facility received planning approval under the UK’s Development Consent Order procedures for the delivery of nationally important infrastructure projects.

The planning approvals process involved a comprehensive and wide-ranging requirement to consult local people and businesses, councils, environmental groups and statutory bodies about the proposal, providing just as much opportunity (if not more) than with a normal planning application.

The House of Commons Joint Committee report on the facility can be found here.
The Government Order granting development consent for the facility can be found by clicking here.
The Environmental Permit can be found here.

In March 2019, Covanta, the GIG and Veolia reached Financial Close which enabled full site construction works to commence over the next 36 months.