Heritage Open Days: 10-19 Sept. 2021 - what did you discover?!

Peterborough Energy Recovery Facility

Peterborough's state-of-the-art facility ensures that up to 85,000 tonnes of waste is diverted from landfill each year, recovering vital energy, and generating enough to power 16,000 homes. HODs provides a rare chance for individuals to see behind the scenes, overturning expectations and sparking ongoing discussions.

© Chris Lacey - 'One of the most fascinating and exciting places I have ever visited.' - A tour was the highlight of Georgian European Heritage Days coordinator, Salome's exchange visit in 2019

Natasha Prior, Viridor, Peterborough Energy Recovery Facility, Cambridgeshire

Why we take part

We run visits so that members of the public can come and see what we do here, ask questions and see the plant in action. It means that visitors can have discussions with us (and each other) about recycling, energy recovery and the waste hierarchy. 

During the year we have lots of visits from local community groups, professional groups and schools but not everyone belongs to something like this. Our events are always popular, well attended and very much enjoyed by the staff also. We get lots of questions and interesting discussions taking place!

So what happens if we turn these? / © Chris Lacey

What we do for HODs

Come along and explore how your black bin waste is turned into energy that powers 16,000 homes! Peterborough City Council is now able to divert up to 95% of its non-recyclable waste from landfill and this is your chance to lift the lid and see the science behind what happens when you take out your rubbish bin. (2019 Event Directory Description)

We take visitors behind the scenes for a tour exploring our state-of-the-art facility which turns residual waste into energy. 

This is where the waste is first gathered and scanned © Chris Lacey

The difference it's made

  • The people that come to our Heritage Open Day events are not necessarily part of a local group so it allows couples, friends or individuals the chance to visit along with others, like themselves, who have an interest in what we do.
  • Each year the events confirm that people have a great interest in the recycling and waste management sector.
  • The visits also give the opportunity for staff members not usually involved with visits to be asked questions and get involved with discussions.

Best bit

My favourite moments are always at the end of the tours when the visitors are asked if the site and tour was what they were expecting, most people come with preconceptions which are not always correct. I am always surprised by people’s thirst for knowledge, it is fantastic to have so many questions and to help answer them. Visitors go away having learned new information and are keen to pass it on to their friends and families, it always helps to spread the word about our visits too.

An extraordinary industrial space © Chris Lacey

Top tip!

Work with others and share communication opportunities. If participants have options and see different events available that are close to each other or in the same city, it will help them plan their time. Our events are enjoyed by visitors and staff members alike so everyone takes something away from the day.

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