Heating to be run on ice cream

by GreenWire.org.uk. Published Fri 08 May 2009 13:50
Ice cream used to power factory

The makers of Wall's ice cream have been given the go ahead to generate heat and power using manufacturing waste at their Gloucester factory.

Wall's owner Unilever had applied for planning permission to install an anaerobic digester and combined heat and power plant at the facility in Barnwood. After councillors approved the proposal this week, ice cream waste could soon be providing environmentally friendly heat and lighting on site.

The waste will be hosed down from the machines, which churn out some six million ice creams a day. It will then be purified in the new treatment plant and converted into up to two and a half megawatts of heat and power to fuel a generator.

The project will require the erection of one 23.8m-high tank and two 9.7m tanks, and some concerns were raised by members of Gloucester City Council’s planning committee about the aesthetic impact.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton queried: “Is there are way we can put a recommendation to them that Unilever funds the planting of some trees on the site? Unilever aren't short of a few pounds. If you had a whole load of poplars along the railway line, it might stop it looking quite so stark.”

Conservative councillor Jim Porter also had reservations, adding: “This might sound a bit cynical, but why are Unilever going to all this effort just to help the environment? Is it possible there might be some ulterior motive here?”

However the planning committee quashed objections and commended Unilever, one of Gloucester’s biggest employers, for its green vision.

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