NOTHING thrown out by households and businesses across Somerset will be buried in the ground within two years.

Waste put out in black wheelie bins for roadside collection will be sent to a centre where it will be transformed into enough renewable energy to power a town the size of Taunton.

The news comes as the foundations of waste firm Viridor's £252 million Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) take shape in Avonmouth, Bristol.

Sir John Parker, chairman of Viridor's parent company Pennon Group Plc, welcomed local authority partners, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) and other stakeholders to the development, which could power around 44,000 homes when it goes live in 2020.

Somerset County Gazette:

Chairman of the Pennon Group, Sir John Parker, Pennon chief executive Chris Loughlin and Viridor managing director Phil Piddington are joined by Mickey Green, managing director and members of the Somerset Waste Partnership to mark the latest construction phase at the Avonmouth RRC.

Sir John added: "We were delighted to host our partners and interested parties to see at first hand the excellent progress made by the onsite team in the last few months.

"We are using our experienced team, drawn from across our UK energy recovery network, who have proven how to safely build energy recovery facilities on time and on budget to ensure that we are able to offer a vital landfill diversion service to our local authority partners and businesses in the Bristol area from 2020."

Once complete, the RRC will take all of Somerset’s household rubbish and convert it into energy through the national grid, switching tens of thousands of tonnes of rubbish from costly, wasteful and polluting landfill.

SWP is launching a new kerbside collections contract in 2020 with extra materials, including a range of plastic packaging, picked up every week using a brand new fleet of vehicles.

SWP managing director Mickey Green said: "The Somerset Waste Partnership manages the waste from more than 250,000 Somerset homes, with one of the highest recycling rates in the country and recycling in the UK 94 per cent of what we collect.

"The Avonmouth RRC forms the cornerstone of our ambitions to help Somerset residents to waste less, recycle even more and – for whatever is left over – switch from a reliance on landfill to resource recovery from 2020.

"We value our partnership with Viridor, which helps us ensure Somerset’s waste is never wasted but given new life as a valuable resource."

A total of eight other Viridor energy recovery facilities are already operating in the UK, with three more under construction or in commissioning.