High Heavens waste complex

1. High Heavens waste complex

The waste complex at High Heavens has been in operation since the late 1950s. The site has become an essential part of Buckinghamshire's waste infrastructure, used by:

  • waste collection vehicles
  • waste and parks and open spaces contractors
  • members of the public
  • Transport for Buckinghamshire

Below is a brief description of each of the site's facilities.

Household recycling centre

Managed by FCC Environment

The complex contains the purpose built household recycling centre. It reopened in 2009 with a new and improved layout making it easier for residents and site staff to use.  FCC Environment run this site along with the other nine across the county.

The site has one of the county's two re-use shops run by South Bucks Hospice. The shops help re-use several hundred tonnes of householders' items each year.

Find opening times or view a live webcam.


Waste transfer station

Managed by FCC Environment

photo of the waste transfer station taken in 2015

The waste transfer station began accepting waste on 30 November 2015. This was part of the larger Energy from Waste (EfW) project at Greatmoor.

Collection vehicles bring in waste from Chiltern, Wycombe and South Bucks areas. Larger and more efficient lorries transport the material to Greatmoor via the M40. This minimises transport helping the environment saving over 125,000 miles of transport each year.


Garden and food waste bulking

Managed by: FCC Environment

An in-vessel composting (IVC) facility was in operation on site until its closure in 2013.

Buckinghamshire Council started to collect food and garden waste separately. This removed the need to compost mixed food and garden waste together in the IVC.

Compostable garden waste is now:

  1. unloaded by collection teams and household recycling centres vehicles
  2. transported to composting facilities in Buckinghamshire and neighbouring Counties
  3. composted creating a nutrient rich soil improver. This process reduces the need for peat-based compost.

Food waste is now:

  1. transported to local anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities 
  2. processed to generate electricity which feeds into the national grid, alongside quality fertilizer produced for agricultural use.

Find out more about the food waste process.


Bulky waste shredding area

Managed by: FCC Environment

Household recycling centres and collection teams deliver bulky waste items to the site for shredding, such as:

  • mattresses
  • sofas
  • garden furniture

The shredded waste is sent to the Greatmoor EfW facility, which has a size restriction on individual items. This helps save even more waste from landfill and also reduces disposal costs.


Closed landfill

The first waste infrastructure on the High Heavens Waste Complex was Nuttings Wood landfill. This closed in the mid 1990s.

It has been fully restored and planted with native trees and grassland. The methane produced powers a generator exporting electricity to the national grid.

Download a diagram of the High Heavens site.