Updating you on our activities
8th March 2021: Career Champion!
Our Business Support Apprentice, Max Jackson, has been recognised as a Career Champion by the Careers and Enterprise Company. Nominated by his old school, Max is celebrated in the ‘Brilliant Young Person’ category and you can read his story here.
Our Managing Director, Paul Carey, presented Max with his certificate in a COVID-safe ceremony on site; we are delighted to be able to support young people in the communities we serve, as they embark upon their first steps into the workplace.
2nd March 2021: Supporting our local NHS
We are always looking for ways to prevent waste and support our local communities. We recently donated 6 cabinets, that were no longer of use to us, to the Stroke Unit at Maidstone Hospital. They have already been put to great use in the wards and offices. In these uncertain times we are making sure that we support our vital NHS services where possible.
8th February 2021: Living Wage accreditation
We are delighted to announce that we are now an accredited Living Wage Employer! This means that every member of staff working for MVV in the UK receives a real Living Wage, which is higher than the government’s minimum or National Living Wage. It is independently calculated every year and reflects the actual cost of living.
MVV, along with nearly 7000 other organisations, voluntarily choose to pay the real Living Wage because we believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. You can find out more about the Living Wage here.
This commitment also extends to our contractors. We have therefore amended our new supplier questionnaire to encourage all our contractors, such as those providing cleaning services, to also pay the real Living Wage. This is clearly stated on the Tendering pages of our website.
30th October 2020: New drainage system
The construction of a new drainage system is ongoing for the treated process water from our facility, This new drainage system will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our site as water will no longer require tankering off site via HGV but instead will be pumped directly into the Swale. The pipeline will cross a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and therefore additional controls are in place to ensure the project’s environmental impact is reduced as far as possible; these include full supervision from Ecologists experienced in managing the habitats of protected species such as water voles and reptiles.
A new bridge has been erected to allow improved access into the SSSI, which we actively maintain in conjunction with Kent Wildlife Trust. This includes ecological improvements for protected species and habitat monitoring to preserve the homes of wildlife populations.
The project completion date is planned for the end of the 2020 and we will be looking into 2021 to finalise the second part of the project; this includes the management of the site surface water through the attenuation pond and into the Swale.
30th July 2020: Nicholls delivers on Gas!
Our customers are helping to reduce the carbon footprint of our site. In December, the Managing director of Nicholls Transport stated that he was committed to reducing emissions from their trucks, therefore helping to save the environment and at the same time provide their customers with a greener option for the delivery of their goods.
In the first quarter they have achieved over 60% reduction in C02 emissions, by utilising their gas fleet of vehicles, compared to using diesel. They also invested in a new gas refuelling station, making it the first in the Southeast. For MVV, this means that Nicholls, using their new trucks for deliveries, are reducing the amount of C02 generated from vehicle movements.
9th June 2020: Protecting valuable habitats
Sadly, it is not always good news for nature and it is with some dismay that we have encountered incidents of anti-social behaviour on our protected habitats. Ecologists from Kent Wildlife Trust and MVV staff have witnessed people with off-road vehicles using the area as a race track. Such activities disturb the wildlife and damage essential habitats, which support rare and endangered species.
MVV is working with KWT to improve signage and CCTV coverage in order to deter people from such destructive behaviours.
29th May 2020: Further biodiversity gain
Routine monitoring of the SSSI and Site 4 shows an increase in biodiversity at both sites, thanks to the careful management and restoration work of Kent Wildlife Trust. Their ecologists tell us that every visit has turned up reptile, mammal, botanic and bird interest showing that industries such as ours really can work alongside wildlife.
One particularly exciting find was the forget-me-not shield bug; prior to this, The Kent & Medway Biodiversity Records Centre (KMBRC) report that they had only 7 records for Kent, with 5 of those relating to just 2 sites. This record will be included within the forthcoming Kent Shieldbug Atlas, currently in preparation. There are plenty of forget-me-knots on the site so it is likely to be seen again!
Site 4 is now supporting a good population of water voles and appears to meet criteria showing it may be of county importance. KWT are looking into whether it can be locally designated. Water voles are believed to have undergone one of the most serious declines (both in numbers and distribution) of any wild animal in the 20th century so the work that KWT are doing on our behalf is of vital importance to the survival of this species.
14th February 2020: Record electrical generation
Our staff at Ridham Dock biomass facility continue to improve its performance year on year, through careful management and maintenance. Across all of our facilities, in the UK and abroad, we strive for continuous improvement and last month saw a record output of 19,847 MWh exported to the National Grid. That is enough to power over 4000 homes for a year!
For the operational year to date, we have also seen an increase in the average monthly output from 12,431 MWh in 2018/19 to 18,155 MWh so far this year. This is a tribute to our skilled and dedicated staff, who have achieved increased maximum monthly outputs every year for the past four years. In 2016/17, maximum monthly output was 19,153 MWh, rising to 19,339 MWh in 2017/18 and 19,619 MWh in 2018/19.
7th October 2019: Wildlife is thriving
We have received the annual report from Kent Wildlife Trust and are pleased to share some successes thanks to their careful management of these sites. Monitoring of water voles and reptiles at Site 4 is now well established and healthy populations of both have been recorded.
A programme of habitat enhancement works has commenced including scrub management, control of non-native Buddleja Davidii and rotational clearance of the ditch and borrow dyke to maintain open water habitat for water voles.
Annual cut and collect mowing of the SSSI has been implemented with the aim of restoring the grazing marsh habitat to a favourable condition.
23rd August 2019: Rare plant species recorded
Kent Wildlife Trust have reported three plant species defined as ‘Nationally Scarce’ by the Botanical Society for Britain and Ireland (BSBI) within the SSSI. Golden-samphire (Inula crithmoides), Annual beard-grass (Polypodium monspeliensis) and Sea clover (Trifolium squamosum) are all listed on the BSBI Rare Plant Register. Two species listed on the Kent rare Plant Register, Sea wormwood (Artemisia maritima) and Spiny restharrow (Ononis spinosa), were also recorded within the SSSI.
8th June 2019: Working with nature
We are delighted to announce that we have increased the conservation area adjacent to our site. In addition to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is part of the Swale SSSI, Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site, we have purchased an additional piece of land for use as a translocation/relocation area for protected species. This is known as Ridham Site 4 and in particular, we hope to attract water voles and reptiles.
Kent Wildlife Trust have produced an Outline Management Plan for the SSSI and a Five Year Management Plan for Site 4. We look forward to bringing you updates on both sites over the coming years.
9th October 2018: 500,000 tonnes of biomass treated
Our Biomass facility at Ridham Dock has been operational since December 2014. In the 46 months between then and now, the facility has accepted over half a million tonnes of waste wood, highly efficiently producing CO2 neutral energy. The facility and our operations team have both delivered a very high degree of reliability and service for our customers during this time.
24th September 2018: New kits for the Herons
We have been sponsoring the football team of the Iwade Herons since the last season and will continue to do so for the season that has just started – including a new kit with the MVV logo on it. The Herons had a good pre-season campaign with reaching the Semi-finals of The Aylesford tournament held at the beginning of September. They also came out 3-1 winners from their first league game – a positive start to the season.
30th July, 2018: Support for Iwade Rock Charity Festival
Growing each year, this year’s Iwade Rock Charity Festival was held in the Herons Playing fields in School lane, Iwade, very much within the local community. This year, the festival supported the local charity SATEDA (Support & Action To End Domestic Abuse), providing direct access to support, advocacy and advice for victims of domestic abuse. MVV helped sponsor this event and has done so in the past. As a local business, we are fully committed to supporting local groups and charities as part of our social responsibility.
9th May 2018: MVV appoints Kent Wildlife Group
As part of our corporate social responsibility, we have looked very carefully at the best options for our SSSI site next to the biomass facility here at Ridham. We have identified the best places for wildlife to co-exist next to industry to ensure they are protected from possible impacts. Following this process, we have now appointed specialist environmental group Kent Wildlife Trust to assist us in managing this area in the best way possible. It is their responsibility to properly protect and manage this area to ensure we compliment the natural habitats that support some special birds and wildlife.
26th March 2018: Visit from Borden Primary School
What is electricity? Where does it come from and how is it generated? These questions were on the minds of a class of year 4/5 pupils from Borden primary school when they came for a site visit to our facility. The pupils spent a very productive morning learning about waste and renewable energy, supported by Jane, our community liaison manager from Plymouth. They even discovered how to generate electricity just from simple fruit, lighting up a bulb or two.
We explained how we here at MVV do the same thing on a larger scale, generating electricity from a renewable source. Highlight of the visit was a tour to help visualise that process, from fuel in the wood yard to the boiler, control room and other points of interest with questions in between.
20th March 2018: Maintenance work
We are taking advantage of some necessary work on our grid connection to do some maintenance on our facility. We carry out maintenance from time to time, normally in the summer, but reschedule it when it suits other activities. The time for work is limited to inspections on the boiler and grate system with some work being undertaken of minor nature. Our next main outage is scheduled for March 2019.
11th January 2017: Beaver Colony visits Ridham Biomass Facility
Twenty young Beaver Scouts visited Ridham Dock Biomass Facility to learn how we make energy from waste wood. Operational staff showed them around the Facility, including a visit to see the fire. They also had the opportunity to learn about responsible waste management and take part in an engineering challenge. Both the children and adults thoroughly enjoyed their visit and it is hoped that further educational trips will be arranged.
23rd July.2016: MVV Ridham supports Iwade Rock
A family day out with great music – that is what Iwade Rock is all about. The charity event in a village close to our biomass power plant at Ridham Docks was held for the fifth year in 2016, and MVV Ridham helped sponsor it by allowing the organisers to purchase and provide two VIP package areas. After the event, the tents and accessories were given to the local Iwade Herons football team to be used as changing rooms.
5th January 2016: New outfit for Iwade Heron Under 5's
The youngest football team of the Iwade Herons, the Under 5's, are sporting a new outfit, sponsored by MVV Environment Ridham. The budding football stars were very happy with the new jerseys and jackets - and proud to be supported by a local enterprise.