THE ENVIRONMENT Agency has confirmed Castle Cement will be allowed to carry out a trial burning of agricultural waste derived fuel (AWDF).

The trial will take place at the cement manufacturer‘s Ribblesdale works in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Meat and bone meal will be used to provide up to 50% of the heat needed for the cement-making process during the six-month trial.

AWDF has been used as fertiliser and animal feed, but it is now usually taken to landfill sites for disposal.

Using it as a substitute fuel in cement kilns could be a way of re-using the waste and reducing pressure on scarce landfill space, the EA says.

Castle Cement will not be allowed to burn meat and bone meal that includes any waste from animals in which BSE is suspected or confirmed.

Neither will the waste-derived fuel include any unprocessed animal products, or any other forms of agricultural, horticultural or industrial waste.

During the trials, the company will have to carry out a rigorous programme of emissions testing, set down by the EA.

The EA will also carry out its own regular and frequent monitoring and inspections. Once the trial is complete, all results will be analysed and considered to determine whether it has been a success.

EA area manager Bernadette Carr said: “In allowing Castle Cement to carry out this trial, we have imposed strict conditions designed to protect both the environment and the health of local people.”

AWDF is used as a fuel in cement works in several European countries including France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The trial at Castle Cement will be the first time AWDF has been burnt in a UK cement kiln.