Gale Common Ash Disposal Site, North Yorkshire

Gale Common Ash Disposal Site, North Yorkshire

The Gale Common Ash Disposal Site is a facility for the processing and long-term storage of Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) from Ferrybridge and Eggborough power stations. The PFA is formed into hills and then landscaped.

Settlement ponds and pumphouse in the foreground, the completed Stage I to the right and Eggborough and Drax power stations in the distance
Settlement ponds and pumphouse in the foreground, the completed Stage I to the right and Eggborough and Drax power stations in the distance

The burning of pulverised coal in large-scale industrial processes such as power stations produces large quantities of ash, known as pulverised fuel ash, or PFA. Gale Common is the largest disposal scheme in the UK, capable of receiving 49 million m3 of PFA annually in slurry form from Eggborough and Ferrybridge power stations, located 5km and 7km away from the site, via underground pipelines. The site also received 16 million m3 of spoil from the nearby Kellingley Colliery.

The site has been developed in three phases – I to III. Stage I was completed in 1994, reaching a height of 69 metres, and has since been restored and landscaped. Stages II and III are not yet complete, however the closure of both Eggborough and Ferrybridge power stations means the site no longer receives any PFA.

Gale Common Photos

Former processing facility and Stage III behind
Former processing facility and Stage III behind

The Gale Common Extraction Project

PFA can be used as a recycled aggregate in the construction industry. There are a range of uses including road construction, building embankments and the manufacture of blocks, tiles and slabs.

Currently, up to 30,000 tonnes of PFA can be extracted from the stockpiles per year, and sold on to the customers in the construction industry. Plans have been submitted to develop the facilities at the site, allowing for up to 1 million tonnes of PFA to be extracted per year, for a period of 25 years. The extraction will take place from Stages II and III, leaving the completed Stage I as it is.

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