Investing in the Community
Covanta, the Green Investment Group and Veolia recognise the importance of being part of the wider community and have established a community engagement plan that will have positive impacts on our neighbours.
The development of the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will bring a range of local community, employment, infrastructure and environmental benefits to the local area. During the planning process, several ways to contribute to the local community were identified.
These include the development of a Community Trust Fund and a dedicated ‘Woodland Creation Fund’ to provide for both on-site and off-site plantings by the Forest of Marston Vale Trust under the forest plan. The Rookery South team has also committed to funding planting to enhance the entrance and amenity value of the Millennium Country Park and to improve views via a scheme agreed with the Marston Vale Trust.
Additionally, the Rookery South project will provide a community energy initiative which is available for local residents living in eight parishes in the Marston Vale area. The scheme has also been extended to allow schools and not-for-profit organisations in the eight eligible parishes to apply to register in the Rookery South Community Energy Initiative.
For households that qualify to participate in the Rookery South Community Energy Initiative (RSCEI), Covanta is able to reduce their electricity bills by paying a contribution worth 10% of the average electricity bill. This will be administered by the UK charity GrantScape.
Supporting the local economy
Over the three-year construction phase, more than 300 jobs will be created with many opportunities being created for local people. Covanta and Veolia have developed a Local Employment Plan in conjunction with Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council that will actively target local employment, local supplies of materials and services, and encourage training of employees. In addition, over 50 permanent jobs will be created when the facility comes online in 2022.
To ensure that the economic benefits of the project are maximised for Bedfordshire’s businesses, communities and workforce over the construction and operational phases, Covanta has joined the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce to help promote the many employment and supply chain opportunities the Rookery South Facility will require.
The Rookery South Community Energy Initiative
The Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will bring a range of local community benefits, one of most innovative and a first for a UK energy-from-waste project, is the Rookery South Community Energy Initiative (RSCEI). Learn more here.