Explore facility’s burning ambition on guided tours

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The fate of waste thrown away in Sheffield’s black bins will be revealed at a special open day this weekend.

The Energy Recovery Facility, on Bernard Road off the Parkway, is opening its doors on Saturday, offering tours behind the scenes at the site, which burns items that cannot be recycled.

By capturing the heat produced, the facility’s operators Veolia and Sheffield Council are then able to provide heating and hot water via the district energy network, which supplies more than 150 city centre buildings.

The Town Hall, Winter Garden, Ponds Forge, Park Hill and Weston Park Hospital are among the places connected to the network. The ERF itself generates enough electricity to power 22,600 homes, or sufficient power to boil 14,000 kettles every hour.

Tours last up to two hours and include a walk round the site guided by a technical expert, a chance to visit the control room, an insight into how energy is recovered from waste and a free goody bag.

Games and activities will be laid on for children.

Full tours are on offer to anyone aged over 17. Younger visitors are able to take part in a shorter version of the tour if joined by an adult. The event is not suitable for children aged under seven.

Guy Le Geyt, the ERF’s general manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for residents to come and see how we treat Sheffield’s rubbish as a resource instead of a problem. People are always fascinated to discover how we use the latest technology to convert their rubbish into a heat and power – we even recycle the ash, so nothing is wasted.”

Places, which are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, must be pre-booked. Call 0114 273 4567, choose option one and ask for the Veolia communications team to book.