Waste facilities

Greatmoor energy from waste

In April 2013, the then Buckinghamshire County Council signed a contract with FCC Environment to build and operate an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant at Greatmoor in north Buckinghamshire.

The contract is worth £275 million and will save Buckinghamshire taxpayers over £150 million over its 30-year life.

The Greatmoor EfW plant receives waste direct from the northern waste collection team, and via the High Heavens Waste Transfer Station from the south of the county. The High Heavens transfer station, in High Wycombe, became fully operational in late 2015. It is used to bulk the waste for transfer to Greatmoor, minimising waste vehicle movements through Buckinghamshire.

Greatmoor

Greatmoor generated its first electricity in January 2016. The formal completion and handover took place in June 2016, with the official opening that October. The plant, which provides around 40 permanent jobs, has the capacity to generate 25 megawatts of electricity. This is enough to power up to 40,000 homes and it delivers a significant carbon benefit as compared to previous landfill operations.

By using Greatmoor the Council largely avoids using landfill to dispose of waste. In fact, less than 0.3% of Buckinghamshire’s waste was sent to landfill last year.

Find out more about Greatmoor, how it operates and how to visit at the Greatmoor website.

High Wycombe waste complex

The waste complex at High Wycombe has been in operation since the late 1950s. The site has become an essential part of Buckinghamshire's waste infrastructure, used by:

  • waste collection vehicles
  • waste and parks and open spaces contractors
  • members of the public
  • Transport for Buckinghamshire

Household recycling centre

The complex contains the purpose-built household recycling centre. It reopened in 2009 with a new and improved layout making it easier for residents and site staff to use. FCC Environment run this site along with the other eight across the county.

The site has one of the county's two re-use shops run by South Bucks Hospice. The shops help re-use several hundred tonnes of householders' items each year.

Find opening times

Waste transfer station

The waste transfer station began accepting waste on 30 November 2015. This was part of the larger Energy from Waste (EfW) project at Greatmoor.

Collection vehicles bring in waste from Chiltern, Wycombe and South Bucks areas. Larger and more efficient lorries transport the material to Greatmoor via the M40. This minimises transport helping the environment saving over 125,000 miles of transport each year.

Garden and food waste bulking

The site accepts separate deliveries of food and garden waste delivered by collection crews and containers from household recycling centres.

Compostable garden waste is:

  • unloaded by collection teams and household recycling centre vehicles
  • transported to composting facilities in Buckinghamshire and neighbouring Counties
  • composted creating a nutrient rich soil improver. This process reduces the need for peat-based compost

Food waste is:

  • transported to local anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities 
  • processed to generate electricity which feeds into the national grid, alongside quality fertilizer produced for agricultural use.

Find out more about the food waste process

Bulky waste shredding area

Household recycling centres and collection teams deliver bulky waste items to the site for shredding, such as:

  • mattresses
  • sofas
  • garden furniture

The shredded waste is sent to the Greatmoor EfW facility, which has a size restriction on individual items. This helps save even more waste from landfill and reduces disposal costs.

Closed landfill

The first waste infrastructure on the High Heavens Waste Complex was Nuttings Wood landfill. This closed in the mid 1990s.

It has been fully restored and planted with native trees and grassland. The landfill is still monitored and the methane it still produces is burned in a controlled manner via a flare stack on site.