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Wiltshire UK Council Approves Hills MBT Plant Westbury Update

It’s nearly 10 years ago since we reported that the Hills MBT Plant Westbury had received the go-ahead for a new mechanical biological plant, and our original press release is shown below. So, what happened subsequently? Read-on past the press released and you will find out:

Press Release: 23-03-2009

Wiltshire county council has given the go-ahead for Marlborough-based waste management company Hills Group to build a £15 million mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility at Westbury.

The county council awarded planning permission last week (March 18) for Hills to develop the 45,000 tonne-a-year capacity plant, which will be known as the Northacre Recovery Centre, as part of its contract to dispose of Wiltshire’s residual household waste.

Hills also intends to build a £1 million household waste and recycling centre at the Stephenson Road site in Westbury.

Speaking after the approval, Alan Pardoe, chairman of Hills Group, said:

“We are delighted by today’s decision. This plant is a key element of Wiltshire’s overall war on waste and means that we can look forward to the day when at least 85 per cent of the county’s waste can be diverted from landfill. It adds up to a much more sustainable future.”

Originally, Hills had planned to send 30,000 tonnes of solid recovered fuel (SRF) generated by the proposed plant to be used in a cement kiln run by Lafarge Aggregates in Westbury before Lafarge was forced to mothball the operation due to the effect the economic downturn had on the construction market. However, the firm said it was now in talks to send the fuel elsewhere.

Mr Pardoe said:

“Fuels of this type that reduce both waste and CO2 have a big future in the UK. We are already in discussions with other end-users and are confident that other outlets will be found for this fuel.”

A spokeswoman for Wiltshire county council confirmed that contract negotiations for the SRF were underway.

See story.

The following is our roundup of news about the Hills MBT Plant, Westbury, since the post above was written:

Hills – Northacre Resource Recovery Centre

  • Diverting waste from landfill and turning it into a valuable fuel for energy

Each year 60,000 tonnes of Wiltshire’s household waste is processed using mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) to create solid recovered fuel (SRF) for use in renewable energy plants.  The Northacre Resource Recovery Centre is operated by Hills Waste Solutions under a 25 year contract agreed with Wiltshire Council. The site achieved certification to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & BS OHSAS 18001 in June 2014. via Northacre Resource Recovery Centre

Hills Group – Westbury – UK | Case Studies


Hills Waste Solutions is one of the largest family-owned waste management companies in the UK and a subsidiary of The Hills Group Limited – a privately owned company established in 1900. For over 50 years Hills Waste Solutions has been providing quality waste management and recycling services to private and public sector customers. The company continues to innovate as a pioneer of the circular economy, utilising waste as a resource and helping customers to achieve zero waste to landfill.


Hills has commissioned to Entsorga the supply of EPC (Engineering Procurement Construcion) services aimed to the realization of a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Wiltshire, UK.


Entsorga has provided Bee stabilization plant for MSW treatment with RDF production for cement works. The capacity of the plant is 60’000 tpa and the total investment was 24.000.000 €.

The biostabilisation area is split into sub-areas running across the width of the plant; each sub-area is independently managed from the others allowing optimisation of treatment for each row.

For a period of up to 15 days, the pre treated waste is then subjected to forced aeration in order to promote the aerobic biological process and oxidation of the organic content. This in turn produces heat which dries and sanitises the material. This is all managed completely automatically by the control system hence avoiding any intervention by personnel and exposure to waste. via Hills Group Westbury

Hills Waste Solutions has completed construction of a 24 million mechanical biological treatment facility in Westbury, Wiltshire.

The Swindon-based waste and recycling company now expects the plant will be fully operational by September 2013.

The Northacre Resource Recovery Centre is expected to be fully operational by September

The Northacre facility will treat around 60,000 tonnes of solid municipal waste per year, under Hills 25-year residual waste treatment contract with Wiltshire county council, signed in May 2011 (see story).

The material is currently being sent to landfill, and it is hoped that when the facility is running at capacity it will help Wiltshire councils move towards its target to divert 80% of the waste it produces from landfill.

Commissioning and safety testing is currently being carried out on the plant, which was originally awarded planning permission in 2009.


Hills has agreed a contract to supply the 28,000 tonnes of refuse derived fuel (RDF) which will be produced by the plant to utilities firm Remondis, which will use it to generate energy in combined heat and power plants in Oberhausen, Germany and Weurt, Holland.

Hills had originally agreed to send the fuel from the plant to cement producer Lafarges nearby cement works in Westbury, but this fell through after Lafarge ended production at the site in February 2009.

Construction work on the plant began in July 2011

The MBT facility is also expected to reduce vehicle miles as waste will no longer need to be transported to Hills landfill site at Lower Compton 20 miles north of Westbury, where it is sent at present.


The MBT process will see waste sent to the facility decompose at an accelerated rate inside a sealed building and under negative air pressure to minimise odour. It will then be processed to remove metals for recycling, with the remaining material turned into RDF.

Kit for the Northacre plant was provided by Italian MBT specialist Enstorga Italia, and the facility was built by construction firm Interserve plc. Construction began on the site in July 2011.

Hills currently handles all the residual waste for Wiltshire and also has a contract to run the 11 household waste recycling centres in the county as well as operate kerbside recycling collections. via

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