The first stage of Avondale Environmental’s state-of-the-art development, a materials recycling facility (MRF), was opened by Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead yesterday (February 1) in Polmont, central Scotland.

The MRF is capable of processing 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. Around 60% of this waste will be diverted from going to landfill through recycling and developing fuels, from the waste, for energy production.

The new plant will be powered by renewable electricity from methane gas converted by onsite landfill gas engines. The MRF will serve a wide range of existing clients including industrial, municipal and private sector customers.

Speaking at the launch, Lochhead said: “The future of waste management is not in landfill, and I am pleased to see a landfill operator such as Avondale investing in a solution that offers a genuine alternative for black bin bag waste.

“But we must not be complacent on the need to raise our game on recycling … 81% of plastic bottles still end up in landfill – if separated at source and recycled it would greatly reduce our demand on scarce, costly raw materials.”

By 2015 further development phases of the centre will include the introduction of a thermal drying facility to produce high quality fuel for resale to other facilities such as kiln operators or energy-from-waste plants.

This will allow Avondale to divert more than 90% of the waste that it handles from landfill and to also use surplus heat at the facility from the on-site landfill gas engines.

Maxine Perella

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