SCA Recycling broadens its paper wings

Paper specialist SCA Recycling looks to make an impression on the multi-materials market as it unveils a new MRF for dry mixed recyclates. Maxine Perella reports

SCA Recycling’s new £15M MRF in Southampton marks the paper recovery specialist’s expansion into the post-consumer market with the recovery of paper, plastics, metals and glass from local authority, and industrial and commercial sources.

The facility, at Hounsdown Business Park in Totton, features advanced optical sorting equipment, which claims to be the first of its kind to be used in a UK MRF. The equipment uses high-speed near infrared technology to identify and sort different types of plastic. The units are designed with parallel detection and ejection points to produce high performance results in terms of material capture and purity.

Built by Kaizen Recycling, the MRF, which is housed in a 124,000 sq ft building, is capable of operating on a 24-hour, 7 day per week basis, with the capacity to process up to 200,000tpa. The plant features equipment from US firm Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), including disc screen technology, for which Kaizen is the UK agent.

One highlight is BHS’s glass clean-up system. SCA has chosen to take glass through the MRF as it says councils want it processed. Asked if glass contamination, particularly within the paper recovery process, was an issue, SCA’s business development director, Kevin Thomas, replied: “I don’t see any glass on the back end of the system. The BHS system I feel is the best clean-up glass system on the market.”

C&I will be key growth area

The MRF is currently taking a material ratio of 70% municipal waste to 30% commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, but Thomas says the C&I market is a key target area “as the next phase of growth” for the company going forward. Material supply is coming from the London and Surrey areas, as Veolia has the main contract with Hampshire County Council and the 14 local and unitary authorities through Project Integra.

“We are dealing with waste contractors at the moment rather than local authorities, but are now bidding for tenders,” says Thomas, adding that the company is happy to take volume across the South-east. Traditionally a market leader in the commercial paper reprocessing field, SCA operates eight paper procesing facilities nationwide, but Thomas says growth in this area has been stagnant for the past few years and the company is now looking to expand into new areas.

“The local authority/MRF sector gives continued growth with recycling targets and LATS, and there is now growth stimulation with C&I materials,” explains Thomas. “About 70% of the composition of mixed recyclate is from paper and fibres – we already have this expertise and so it was a natural evolution for us to branch out.”

Up to 80 new jobs will eventually be created by SCA’s new MRF development, which was officially opened in October by former 400m runner and Olympic silver medallist Roger Black. At the unveiling, Ken Stevens, managing director of SCA Recycling, said: “This is a fantastic day for SCA Recycling and Hampshire. Our plant utilises the best available technology to produce material to the highest quality standards. With our long-standing experience in the recovered paper sector this is an unprecedented opportunity to develop quality partnerships with both new and existing customers.

Maxine Perella is editor of LAWR

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