Projects: Wanlip



Wanlip Anaerobic Digestion Facility

Submitted: 18 November 2005 Operator: BIFFA Waste Services Ltd Location: Wanlip, Leicestershire


The project was designed as an alternative to sending organic municipal wastes to landfill. It is contracted to help meet the city’s target of 60% waste recycling and recovery by 2006.

It is funded by Leicester City Council at a cost of £80 per household per year.


It processes the biological fraction of Municipal Solid Waste from the Leicester area, after ball mill processing at Bursom Recycling Centre. Source separated kitchen and garden waste is also accepted.

The digester can process up to 50,000 tonnes/year

The facility includes 5 digester tanks, with a total capacity at any one time of 8000 tonnes.


Electricity: 1434 kW (ROC Accredited) Digestate: There is a potential for this to be marketed for agricultural use.

For more information see Biffa Leicester.


This is not the same the biogas as in the following information:

Wanlip Wastwater Treatment Works

The sludge works at Wanlip STW, a 660,000 p.e. treatment works serving the city of Leicester, was due for an upgrade as the existing assets were under capacity and life expired. Several options were considered by the project team – a consortium between Severn Trent Water, Costain and MWH – as part of the collaborative E5 alliance, and ultimately the solution developed included mechanical primary and SAS sludge thickening, Acid and Gas phase digestion, and sludge dewatering. The new works was to generate 30% additional biogas and compared to the existing installation, and to provide 100% of the site electricity. Lessons learnt from other Severn Trent Acid Phase digestion projects were available to be included in the design of Wanlip sludge works. The 28,000 t/annum sludge works is now processing all of the works indigenous sludge and accepting imports from a range of satellite sites. This paper will present the options considered for the replacement of Wanlip sludge works, the main features of the design, and the commissioning data validating the design assumptions.


Wanlip biogas

Wanlip STW is one of Severn Trent’s major sewage treatment facilities and treats domestic and industrial waste from inhabitants and factories in Leicester and satellite villages. The site covers nearly 40 hectares and it is designed to serve a population of approx. 900,000.

The project was awarded to KIRK in February and consists of six Epoxy Coated Steel Digester Tanks with stainless steel top rings and roofs, each with a volume capacity of 4,222m³. The project will also include some access steelwork with a 900mm wide walkway leading to a 4m diameter central access platform. Access around the full perimeter of the roofs will also be provided with a 900mm wide access platform.


Many more such plants have been built and commissioned since 2013, and WRAP provides a UK AD Plant map with an invitation to all active AD Plant operators to enter details of their own plants. Although, as a government run organisation it would be expected that WRAP would hold the most up to date data on UK AD Plants, that does not appear to be true.

For those that seek the most up to date information on UK AD Plant numbers and locations, we recommend a visit to the ADBA website list here. Their anaerobic digestion plant list and the map showing each plant’s location is now the most authoritative source for UK anaerobic digestion plants.