Energy from Waste Plants

There are two Energy from Waste plants or EfWs in Devon, one in Exeter and one in Plymouth. They are also sometimes called Energy Recovery Facilities. You can visit both on a school or community group trip (see the picture of students from a Devon school visiting the Plymouth facility).

These are large industrial plants, much like a small power station so require many different staff to run them smoothly – these include electricians, mechanics, plumbers, engineers, managers, educators and admin staff.

Job skills required:

  • An ability to work as part of a team – good teamwork is needed to get the job done.
  • Knowledge of the rules and regulations around waste – it’s important to know what rules affect the rubbish that is burnt, such as the correct temperature for incineration of waste (850°C) and what should happen to fly ash (dealt with as hazardous waste).
  • A strong constitution – there’s no getting away from the fact that rubbish can be smelly! You can’t go round all day holding your nose!
  • An ability to follow rules – health and safety is really important in this job. You would need to know what protective gear you need to wear and how to keep yourself and others safe.
  • An ability to mend and operate machinery – mechanics and electricians are needed to keep the machinery in tip-top condition and solve any issues if something goes wrong.
The Energy from Waste plant (EFW) in Exeter