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£20m to help transform Merseyside recycling (1 June 2012)

A £20 million recycling facility combining high tech sorting with the latest green construction techniques was officially opened at Gillmoss in Liverpool today Friday 1st June as part of the drive to revolutionise recycling and waste management on Merseyside.

The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), commissioned by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and managed by Veolia Environmental Services uses state-of-the-art recycling separation technology to sort paper and cardboard, glass bottles and jars, steel cans, aluminium cans and plastic bottles – items known collectively as dry recyclables. The facility can process up to 250 tonnes of recyclable materials a day.

It handles material currently collected in Knowsley and Liverpool council areas. The materials are then processed by Veolia Environmental Services before being converted into new products and raw materials.

Councillor Joe DeAsha, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “The Gillmoss facility provides a great opportunity for members of the public to get a real understanding of the processes involved. The more people understand, the more they’ll be able to support us in our drive to increase recycling rates on Merseyside and that can only be a good thing.”

Jean Dominique Mallet, Chief Executive Officer, Veolia Environmental Services UK: “We are delighted to be opening this new facility in Gillmoss which will not only improve recycling rates across Merseyside but also provide an education centre to help the next generation understand the benefits of greener living.”

Carl Beer, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority Chief Executive, said: “This is a massive investment in recycling facilities on Merseyside. The challenge to the public is to match that investment by playing an even bigger part in the recycling effort. Recycle as much as you can but try to keep materials clean and reuse plastic bags rather than put them out for recycling. Please think carefully about what you are passing in to us – if in doubt about what to recycle please look on our website or call us on Tel: 0151 255 1444.”

The new building, in Bridgehouse Lane, Gillmoss, was built with the latest technologies in mechanical sorting as part of a 20 year contract between Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and its partner, Veolia Environmental Services.

The facility, features a dedicated Recycling Discovery Centre in which MRWA and Veolia Environmental Services are already delivering a range of education and awareness activities. Thousands of young people and members of the community have already visited to take part in programmes and activities, and to take a tour of the facilities.

The main education room includes an activity room and a viewing platform which allows visitors to look down onto the MRF sorting equipment while it is operational. CCTV cameras allow visitors to see operations in closer detail. The viewing platform has a number of stopping points which will have interpretive information to explain what each part of the machinery is doing.

It has been designed to reduce the impact on its surroundings with a range of designed-in environmental features. There’s an attractive curved roof to allow natural light into the building and recycled and reclaimed materials have been used in construction of the building and its foundations. In addition, 100% of concrete, timber and plasterboard post-construction waste has been recycled, cardboard/packaging 98% recycled, and mixed general builders waste, 97% recycled.

The entire construction process was assessed as ‘Excellent’ using BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) – the