Euro 5m glass recycling plant unveiled

A new Euro 5m state-of-the-art glass recycling facility has been opened in Ireland which will be able to handle more than 50,000 tonnes of bottles and jars a year.

Environment minister John Gormley officially opened the new Glassco Recycling plant, which has the potential to save more than 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Bosses say it will be the first of its kind in the country to use optical colour sorting technology to sort mixed waste glass by colour and mechanically eliminate contaminants such as ceramics, stones and porcelain.

Glassco also has plans to use the plant, in Naas, County Kildare, to recycle other glass products such as plate glass.

Describing the technology, Glassco managing director Zeki Mustafa said: “The process not only adds significant commercial value, but it also creates a product which can be recycled over and over again with no loss of quality.

“At present around 50% of the 120,000 tonnes of bottle and jars collected for recycling in Ireland annually are either exported as waste product or sent to alternative markets due to inadequate processing infrastructure.

“This new plant means that Ireland can substantially reduce carbon emissions.”

Speaking at the official opening, Mr Gormley said recycling rates had made great leaps over the past ten years, but there was still a great deal to do.

He added: “I believe that the development of plants such as this will take Ireland to the fore internationally in our efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.

“I am confident that with the continued roll out of state-of-the-art facilities such as this one and with the continued co-operation of all key stakeholders, our recent success in driving up recycling rates will be maintained well into the future.”

Glassco recycling, which was founded in 2001, expects to recycle 30,000 tonnes of glass this year.

Kate Martin

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