An ambitious recycling project that aims to turn 200 tonnes of waste wood into fuel for heating every year has reached a landmark with the launch of a new showroom and depot at Herniss, near Falmouth.
The new base for Unique Ecofuels was officially opened by mayor of Falmouth Mike Varney who welcomed the project that grew from a neighbouring joinery firm’s need for a new way to deal with its industrial waste.
Launched in January, Unique Ecofuels now collects waste from 12 woodworking companies around Cornwall and transforms it into clean-burning briquettes that can be used in home woodburners, open fires, Rayburns, chimineas and similar appliances.
The project is already helping to reduce the impact of Cornwall’s carbon footprint. It even uses a low-carbon collection scheme where pick-ups are factored in to existing van runs done by another company.
So far more than 35 tonnes of waste have been turned into fuel through the project and the facility is on track to hit its target of 200 tonnes of recycled wood waste by the end of the year.
The fuel is distributed through a network of local retailers so to make it easier for customers who are elderly or less able to carry fuel any distance home. Customers with transport are also now able to pick up bags from the new depot at Herniss.
Prompted by the bad cold snap last winter where pensioners on low incomes were feared to be at particular risk from the cold, Ecofuels restructured its pricing to ensure those in receipt of pensions could benefit from a winter fuel discount and have a highly cost-effective way of keeping warm.
Launching the new showroom and depot, Varney said: “This is a fantastic initiative that ticks all the boxes as far as the carbon footprint is concerned and it’s great to see the enthusiasm that’s driving this project forward.”
Head of waste management for Cornwall Council Dave Owens, added: “It’s really nice to see an example of a local business acting to reduce the environmental cost of waste disposal and clearly thinking about the bigger picture.
“This facility effectively represents 200 tonnes of wood waste a year that doesn’t have to be transported out of the county to be processed and won’t go into landfill. Saving it from landfill means we make a methane saving and keeping it local is a bonus for the county’s industrial carbon footprint as a whole.”
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