A UK firm is to dig up a landfill site in Belgium, recycle half the rubbish and turn the rest into renewable electricity.
The project is believed to be the first of its kind in the world and is being keenly watched as a blueprint for freeing up landfill sites and producing alternative energy.
It is hoped the initiative will be operational by 2014 and has a 30-year shelf life. It will recycle 16.5m tonnes of municipal waste dumped since the 1960s.
The UK’s Advanced Plasma Power is part of a joint venture behind the scheme. APP was formed in 2005 and provides solutions for turning waste into clean energy.
APP will use its plasma technology to convert the methane produced by the rubbish into usable gas. This will fuel a 60MW power plant capable of supplying 60,000 homes.