Following visits to the national Coal Mining Museum and Jodrell Bank in 2018, members
have visited the Rolls Royce Aero Engine Museum in Derby and the Allerton Waste Management
Facility this year.
The visit to Rolls Royce took us on a tour of over 200 engines ranging from the Eagle,
through the Merlin and on to the Trent, with a few marine engines thrown in, together
with much memorabilia. Our guides were ex employees of RR and they gave us a potted
history of the Company and expert explanations of the development of engines through
the ages as we toured the site. Of course the Merlin and the part it played in WWII
stole the show but the technical development of the Trent ran it a close second.
Lunch at a nearby pub on the way home was good too.
At Allerton Waste Management Centre. which handles all the ‘black bag’ waste from
North Yorkshire and York City, we were received by our guide, Kimberly. Many members
present have asked me to mention Kimberly because she was an outstanding guide who
paced the tour just right and answered our many questions. That she was quite pretty
as well has nothing to do with it. We were first shown a series of short videos and
diagrams which took us through how the plant operated. We then had a conducted tour
of the plant through separated walkways, keeping us well away from what are operation
with many potential dangers.
320,000 tonnes of rubbish per year; anything recyclable is extracted along the 1.5km
of conveyor belts running between 4m diameter revolving separator drums, shredders,
crushers, infra red detectors and on to the furnace. The recyclables are collected,
crushed and sent to recycling plants; the bio-degradables are mixed with bugs and
anaerobically digested, producing methane, which is burned to drive generators and
produce electricity. The furnace receives, in a very controlled way, all other non-recyclable
matter and, at temperatures of over 850 degrees, heats water to steam drive generators
to produce electricity. Power sufficient to supply the needs of 40,000 homes is exported
from the plant.
Residue from the digesters and furnace are made in to material for the construction
industry. The exhaust fumes from the furnace are filtered several times and any toxicity
not removed by high temperature burning is separated out and exported for treatment
at toxic waste disposal plants. Fascinating and state of the art technology.
Oh, by the way, don’t forget to wash your hands on the way out.
Forum Member’s group outside Allerton Waste Management Centre
Here is a link to the Harrogate & District Probus Club