Energy & Recycling

Published: April 18, 2022 | Updated: April 18, 2022

Spring clean for Eco with a rebrand, ambitious projects and the next generation of leadership

Tristan Dampney: “To other people it may just be rubbish, but to the Eco team, it’s got much more potential. It’s the future of our planet.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

It’s been cleaning up Dorset for nearly three decades.

And now Eco Sustainable Solutions is preparing for the future with a rebrand, more ambitious projects and the next generation of leadership.

The Parley-based company takes in more than 250,000 tonnes of waste annually.

That includes all 38,000 tonnes of Dorset’s food waste as well as 65,000 tonnes of garden waste.

The food waste is taken by Eco to its anaerobic digestion plant at Piddlehinton near Dorchester and turned into energy.  

The garden waste is used for compost and other soil products.

The company’s clean energy portfolio includes a combined heat and power plant (CHP) and one of the UK’s largest solar farms covering the equivalent of 5,000 tennis courts or 215 football pitches.

Eco receives more than 40,000 tonnes of waste wood from disposal companies and local authorities every year.

It’s converted into biofuel for powering the in-house CHP facility, among other uses.

Eco also receives street sweepings from commercial and local authority sources, diverting 100 per cent of it from going to landfill.

It handles around 20,000 tonnes of street sweepings from the Dorset area, alone.

A dedicated recycling facility processes them into a range of products to be used again.

By any standards its stats for the last 30 years make impressive reading.

They include:

  • 1,405,768 tonnes of carbon saved from the atmosphere, equivalent to over 500,000 return flights to Australia.
  • 4,025,982 tonnes of organic waste recycled, the equivalent weight of over 170 Titanics.
  • 101,608,119 KWh of green energy produced or around 23,500 homes powered for a year.
  • 2,192,023 tonnes of landscape products created, that’s around the weight of 313,146 elephants.

Future plans for the company, which was founded by Trelawney Dampney in 1993 to compost garden waste for landscapers, include developing another anaerobic digester.

Last month Eco was given the green light by planners for an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at its Parley site, pictured.

The proposal, first highlighted more than a year ago, sparked widespread controversy.

Eco is also to step up its support for sustainable events following its involvement with the final race of the Extreme E championship in Dorset last December.

Tristan Dampney, Marketing Manager, said: “We were so proud to be part of the team processing the food waste from this incredible event.

“From just one day’s rubbish, we generated enough electricity to power 85 houses for 24 hours.

“It was especially satisfying to use the waste from an event all about electric cars, to generate electricity itself, and all from things people threw away.

“We’d like to be doing this at more events across the region, helping them to be greener and more sustainable.

“This technology exists and it’s on our doorstep.

“Dorset could be hosting sustainable events and festivals all the time.

“Imagine the food waste from the Bournemouth Air Festival and how much energy we could produce with that.”

Justin Dampney joined Eco 14 years ago and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2019 after Trelawney stepped back.

He said: “I’m still in awe of the work that goes on here, and how much good we can do using stuff most people don’t look twice at.

‘We’ve done some great things already, including turning 9.5 hectares of land surrounding our site into native Dorset heathland, allowing better biodiversity and carbon capture.

“We’ve also invested in a Combined Heat and Power plant, which is fuelled by locally sourced waste wood and generates enough energy to run our entire Eco Park, and have some left over to feed into the national grid.

“And we aren’t stopping there.

“We’ve got big plans for the future, including developing another anaerobic digestor, which we will use to generate carbon negative biogas from biowaste at our site.

“We can then use the biogas to fuel our fleet of HGVs.

“It will mean we’ll be moving waste with fuel generated by waste.

“Creating self-sustaining, circular systems is one of the most sustainable ways to operate.

“We’re ready to shout about how we do it and encourage others to get on board.”

Tristan, who joined the business last year and has overseen the rebrand including a new logo and website, added: “We’ve seen the hard work the team has put in to grow the business from strength to strength over the past 30 years.

“We are so excited to be part of helping it grow even further over the next 30.

“To other people it may just be rubbish, but to the Eco team, it’s got much more potential.

“It’s the future of our planet.”