Land reclamation & retrospective recycling

Company or Client – Blackfiled Land
Trading activity – Land reclamation and sustainable regeneration.


For years we have been paying waste contractors to do the dirty work of getting rid of our rubbish: generally to just bury it in the ground, out of site and out of mind.  As a result the UK is peppered with dumps. About 25,000 landfill sites are registered with the Environment agency in England and Wales, scattered throughout all counties around just about every town and city.

Many landfill sites are located on the outskirts of towns and cities in places where it would be good to build new homes, offices, schools or hospitals. But this is avoided because the rotting contents of these sites poison ground water, they are structurally unstable and they emit methane an explosive gas that is a more powerful global warming agent than carbon dioxide.

Techniques now exist to address these pollutants and each closed landfill site should be a treasure trove of increasingly valuable metals, plastics and other recyclables waiting to be uncovered. But this is still avoided because the costs of re-burying the non-valuable materials are increasingly prohibitive as taxation and regulation evolves to discourage and control landfill operations.

For the first time in the UK, BFL has assembled the combination of skills and technologies required to change this situation by removing the need to re-bury a larger proportion of non-valuable materials. Instead non-valuable plastics and rotting organic waste can be efficiently and cleanly converted into heat and power using a pyrolysis technology, which can be used.

Now we can profitably make amends for society’s poor approach to waste management and leave a positive legacy for the future. Each landfill site will be cleaned, ready for redevelopment in whatever form best serves the location and with a Renewable Energy Plant converting fresh waste into heat and power.


  • We came out with the idea in one of the monthly brain storming session at Team Homes in early 2009 to transform 10,000 or so closed dumps and landfill sites, in places which would be ideal for new development, into exemplar low carbon communities, powered by an onsite renewable energy source by bringing together the skills and technologies required. These old dumps were to be ‘mined’ – their valuable contents recycled and noxious ones neutralised, providing new, ‘windfall sites’, fully remediated, serviced and ready for development, at no cost to the public purse.
  •  The initiative has three phases:
    1. Select site and install Decentralised Energy Plant (DEP) with non landfill feedstock
    2. Remediate landfill, retrospectively recycle waste with DEP and install services for development
    3. Development
  • My Primary role was to meet various stakeholders including Landowners, Local Authorities, Insurers, Environmental Lawyers, Consultants, Environment Agency, Landfill mining companies, Developers and Financiers to explore the cost drivers and to prepare the business model.
  • Following a public consultation period a workshop was organised in June 2010 with these stakeholders with a view to stress test the business model. Following this workshop I have worked with these stakeholders to accommodate all stakeholders concerns into the business model.