Recycled materials used to build recycling centre

Recently completed, Hampshire County Council's new household waste recycling centre (HWRC) at Winchester has been hailed as the flagship for recycling and sustainable development, not only in Hampshire but also throughout Southern England. Built on the site of the old Bar End depot, it features an innovative two level rotunda design providing quick and easy access for vehicles. This has been achieved by positioning the waste bays and receptacles at the lower level with the cars unloading from the upper level.

In addition to recycling household waste, there are specific collection points for items such as metals, glass, paper, green products and environmental contaminants including CFCs, oils, etc, as well as special provision for the disposal of car batteries. In addition, there are facilities such as a site office and a sales area.

The tender insisted on the successful contractor minimising the use of imported materials – for example, by recycling non- hazardous demolition waste such as bricks which can be crushed and used as base material for roads and footpaths. Full ecological surveys were carried out and comprehensive landscaping has been provided as part of the overall scheme.

The main contractor, Natta Building Company, started work on the £750,000 contract in June 2004. This includes the construction of the hard standing areas, reinforced concrete structure and the sheet piled retaining walls dividing the split level waste handling areas as well as the necessary access roads, lighting and signage.

Priority was given not only to the use of recycled materials but also to environmentally friendly working practices. Due to the close proximity of occupied buildings, Natta appointed Fussey Piling for the construction of the sheet piled retaining wall using its “silent piling” technique.

In addition, Natta took every opportunity to make use of recycled materials and products. Special arrangements were made with the concrete supplier, Ready Mix, to use recycled aggregate in the concrete provided for the floor slabs and the retaining walls alongside the access road. Even the parapet rail was an example of products being reused having been obtained from another site. Similarly, the three-bar posts and rails for the boundary fence were made from recycled plastic material.

Another environmental technique employed by Natta, which, in turn, assists Hampshire County Council to achieve its Public Service Agreement targets, was the incorporation of the latest techniques in recycled tarmac for the construction of the road surfacing. The product, called Foamix, is an engineered cold-mix asphalt that is environmentally preferable and equal to the traditional hot-mix products. It uses up to 95% of recycled material and is, itself, 100% recyclable – so the production process becomes sustainable.

Councillor Keith Estlin, the Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, commented that this new waste recycling centre sets the standard for all future HWRC’s in Hampshire: “Our previous centre processed 60% of the material received and I am confident that this new facility will exceed that total,” he said. “The remainder of the Bar End site will be redeveloped for related sustainable, natural resource and industrial storage purposes.”

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