FAQs

Environmental and Technical

Will the facility smell?
No. Energy-from-waste facilities are modern, clean and efficient, deploying a number of highly advanced odour control measures. For example, the Tipping Hall, where waste deliveries are received into the facility, is a wholly enclosed space that’s kept under negative air pressure at all times. When the automatic doors open to accept a delivery, air is drawn into the facility and used as part of the combustion process. This helps to keep odours and dust within the facility.
Will the facility be noisy?
No, modern energy-from-waste facilities are not noisy operations, and the process takes place almost entirely inside the buildings on site. As part of our regulatory permitting application to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 we will need to provide detailed information about the noise levels that will be expected and, if required, how we will prevent or minimise that noise so that it does not have an unacceptable impact on our nearest neighbours. Noise monitoring information is also included within the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which we are preparing as part of our planning application. Again, this provides local people with guarantees that they won’t be negatively impacted by noise.
What impact does energy-from-waste have on global warming?
Modern energy-from-waste facilities have a positive impact in our battle against climate change. Disposing of waste to landfill causes the emission of both carbon dioxide and methane, with methane being a greenhouse gas that is many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Diverting that waste from landfill and managing it more sustainably within an energy-from-waste facility therefore generates significant greenhouse gas savings compared to landfill.

In addition, a significant amount of the energy used by our homes and businesses still comes from the use of fossil fuels, such as natural gas or coal. The electricity generated by energy-from-waste facilities is officially recognised as coming from a non-fossil fuel source. It’s also, to a certain extent, classed as renewable energy and the technology is recognised by the EU as being sustainable. Displacing this fossil fuel-based electricity from the transmission network by using waste as fuel therefore creates further carbon savings.
Will the facility export heat as well as electricity?
Yes, the Killoch Energy Recovery Park is designed to be a CHP-ready (combined heat and power) facility. This means we will be able to use the heat created as part of the energy recovery process as a source of sustainable energy for our site. For example, we intend to use a portion to heat Barr’s offices. Other uses for the heat produced, including opportunities presented by nearby third parties, will be considered as the project progresses.
Can local residents and business benefit from the heat and electricity that will be generated by Killoch ERP?
At the moment we intend to distribute the low carbon electricity generated by Killoch ERP via a connection to the transmission network (sometimes known as the national grid) but we welcome all practical suggestions and feedback on this matter.

Similarly, while we have already identified some potential users for heat and power we need further discussions with them to determine their specific requirements. We welcome further suggestions from the local community and businesses as to other potential users either now or in the future.
How will any perceived impacts on local flora and fauna be measured?
Air quality will be continuously measured in real time and the results will be reported to SEPA, as the regulator who awards our Environmental Permit to operate. Non-compliance with our permit will mean we are stopped from operating. We have also committed to conducting additional monitoring in the local area to ensure there are no unexpected impacts on local farms etc.
How will the final height of the stack be determined?
We have quoted 70 – 90 metres in our consultation materials as a worst case scenario. The final height of the stack in our application will be determined by a stack height analysis and designed to ensure the stack is at the correct height to guarantee the necessary air quality levels.
How will lighting on site be controlled to ensure it does not impact local homes and businesses?
A lighting strategy will be submitted as part of our planning application and we will be required to demonstrate our strategy is appropriate and proportionate both for the safety and security of our workforce and in terms of the impact of any lighting on our neighbours. Lighting at night is expected to be minimal and focused on lighting to assist the safe movement of people and vehicles around the site at ground level.
What is the lifespan of the Killoch ERP and how would the decommissioning process be funded?
Facilities like the one we’re proposing often have lifespans lasting many decades, as ongoing maintenance and the use of ever improving technology means they remain a clean, efficient solution for managing residual waste, even after they have been operating for many years. At the end of its working life the facility’s component parts – which will retain inherent value – will be removed and relocated for reuse or disposal. Barr will be liable for any costs incurred in the decommissioning process.
If the Killoch ERP needs to be taken offline for unexpected maintenance, what happens to the waste arriving on site?
Our waste bunker – which is wholly enclosed within the main building – will have several days of spare capacity. In the event that the facility needs to be taken offline for planned or unplanned maintenance, we will be able to safely, securely and cleanly store waste deliveries until they’re needed. This storage capacity is also utilised to ensure the facility has enough fuel during periods when there are no scheduled deliveries, such as at Christmas and Easter.
How long does it take to complete an unplanned shut down of the facility?
If an event necessitates an unplanned shutdown, there will be specific procedures to shut down the plant in a safe and efficient manner. The facility can stop generating electricity almost immediately, but other elements of the plant are designed to reduce capacity over a number of hours in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.

It should be noted that the facility will use proven technology, be operated by an experienced operator and further detailed procedures around shutdown will be prepared and submitted to SEPA as part of the PPC permit application.
Will Killoch ERP manage medical waste?
No. The waste we manage will be non-hazardous waste. There will be some limited scope for managing non-recyclable general waste from medical facilities (such as used face masks, for example) but we will not manage clinical waste.
When will the Environmental Impact Assessment be available and who is preparing it?
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be submitted as part of our planning application to East Ayrshire Council. It is being prepared by independent specialists working at industry-leading organisations such as Fichtner and Wardell Armstrong. There will be an opportunity to comment on the EIA as part of the statutory consultation which will run by the council when the planning application is submitted in Spring 2021. A copy of the EIA will be made available on the project website.
Will water be discharged from the facility?
No – the water used within the facility operates in a closed loop system. No water is discharged from the facility with the exception of water from sinks / toilet flushes etc.
Where will fly ash be transferred to for processing or disposal?
At present, fly ash is not recycled in Scotland – as it can be in England – but it is something that SEPA is considering. Until that becomes possible, the fly ash will be processed and then disposed of using suitable landfill facilities.
How is non-recyclable waste removed from the residual waste before it’s delivered to Killoch ERP?
The waste will be separated at source by householders and business owners. The recyclable material will have been removed before it is transported to our facility.
Will there be more viewpoints of the proposed facility made available?
Yes, these will be included in the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment chapter of our Environmental Impact Assessment. This will be included as part of our planning application.
Could the heat be used for community benefit at Stair, Ochiltree or Drongan?
It’s unlikely the heat produced would travel far enough to be used by one of the existing local communities. Barr Environmental’s expectation is that it could be used by businesses co-locating at the Killoch site. However, a detailed heat investigation will be carried out to support the PPC applications to determine opportunities. This would need to be reviewed annually as a condition to the PPC permit to satisfy SEPA’s requirements.
How long will it take the plant to be totally closed down in the unlikely event of an emergency?
The facility can be powered down relatively quickly if required. Waste would stop being processed immediately and it would take around 45 minutes for the fuel already on the grate to be fully combusted.
Why is fly ash considered hazardous and where will it be taken for reprocessing or disposal?
Fly ash is the residue of the flue gas cleaning process. The main reason it is treated as hazardous is due to its high levels of alkalinity. Barr Environmental is still considering options for its onward processing for safe disposal or recycling. It will not be landfilled at Garlaff which does not have the appropriate consent or control measures in place to safely dispose of these residues.

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