Shanks opens first of two MBT plants in Cumbria

Shanks has opened the first of two mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plants in North Cumbria as part of a 25-year £700m waste disposal contract with Cumbria County Council.

The facility based at Hespin Wood in Carlisle has opened three months ahead of schedule and aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 80%. The second plant is currently under construction in Barrow and is expected to be operational by April 2013.

The county council deals with around 250,000 tonnes of household waste per annum. Each MBT plant has the capacity to process 75,000 tonnes a year, enabling up to 150,000 tonnes of waste to be processed through the facilities.

Around 12.5% of the waste that arrives on the MBT site will still end up in landfill as a by-product, but the total amount of Cumbrian waste going to landfill will reduce from around 150,000 tonnes per annum down to 30,000.

A further 100,000 tonnes of waste will be recycled directly by households via kerbside collections or recycling drop-off points.

Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Tim Knowles, said: “It’s a massive step forward for Cumbria. This new MBT plant will revolutionise the way we deal with waste in the north of the county and ensure we have a greener, more cost-effective system of managing rubbish for years to come.”

Maxine Perella

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