Wasted effort at the double

A £20m recycling facility that combines high-tech sorting with green construction techniques has been opened in Liverpool as part of a Merseyside double by Veolia Environmental Services.

The plant, for Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), is managed by Veolia and uses the latest recycling separation technology to sort paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, steel cans, aluminium cans and plastic bottles and can process up to 250 tonnes a day. Materials are then processed before being converted into new products and raw materials.
Carl Beer, MRWA’s chief executive, said: “This is a massive investment in recycling facilities on Merseyside.”
The new building was constructed as part of a 20-year contract between Veolia and the waste authority and features recycled and reclaimed materials. In addition, recycling included 100% of concrete, timber and plasterboard post-construction waste, 98% of cardboard/packaging, and 97% of mixed general builders waste.
The entire construction process was assessed as ‘Excellent’ under BREEAM, the environmental assessment method for buildings.
Elsewhere, a £1.1m waste recycling centre has been opened in Knowsley. The facility replaces a previous centre just 300 metres away and has the capacity to receive up to 15,000 tonnes of householders’ waste and recyclable materials a year.
Construction was by Cheetham Hill Construction on behalf of MRWA and the project has achieved the industry standard CEEQUAL for improving sustainability in civil engineering. It recognises and prioritises environmental considerations such as the protection of the local ecology and landscape, pollution prevention and control, and waste minimisation and management.
MRWA and Veolia operate 14 household waste centres and recycling rates at the sites topped more than 50% in 2010/11.

(From left) MRWA chief executive Carl Beer; MRWA chairman Councillor Joe DeAsha; Jean Dominique Mallet, chief executive officer of Veolia Environmental Services UK; and Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram.