Recycling and recovery

New £27m recycling centre for Aberdeen

Construction of a major new development that will help Aberdonians to reduce their impact on the environment is starting to take shape at Altens East.

The £27m facility is being developed by SUEZ recycling and recovery UK on behalf of Aberdeen City Council. It will eventually divert 71,000 tonnes of Aberdeen’s waste from landfill every year, helping the city to meet Scottish Government recycling and recovery targets and save residents £6m in landfill tax per year when it begins operations in summer 2017.

The new centre will comprise a materials recycling facility where mixed recyclables, collected from homes and businesses, will be sorted before being forwarded on for re-processing and a refuse derived fuel facility that will process residual waste – the waste materials that remain once all viable attempts to recycle them have taken place – to extract metals. The remaining material will then be securely baled prior to onward transfer out of the area, where it will be diverted from landfill and put to better use in the recovery of energy.

The development site will also include a replacement vehicle depot for the council’s waste collection fleet, which is currently located on Powis Terrace and shared office space for both SUEZ and Aberdeen City Council.

Construction started on 05 January 2016 and despite initial ground works being hampered by ‘Storm Frank,’ the project will complete on schedule in the summer of 2017.

The project is being managed on behalf of SUEZ, by its principle contractor, Morrison Construction, a locally based subsidiary of Galliford Try. Morrison’s sub-contractors and supply chain, which includes structural engineers, mechanical and electrical services and steelwork fabricators are all based in Scotland with 15 of its 18 contractors all based in the North East region, ensuring that the majority of civil and building work is undertaken by local firms.

Morrison’s have been tasked with constructing the new facility as sustainably as possible and 3,000 tonnes of rock excavated on site has been reused to form the foundations of the building. By the end of the project, more than 27,000 tonnes of site derived soil and aggregate will have been reused in building screening bunds, forming bases and creating a level site.

The new office facility will also have an Energy Efficiency ‘A rating’ and a number of energy efficient techniques have been incorporated into its design, including solar panels on the building roof. Energy will also be recovered through site processing operations to provide renewable heat and power to the three storey site offices. What’s more, energy efficient LED lights will be used throughout the site and SUEZ has been working with the manufacturers of its processing equipment to reduce its power demand.

With construction of the site buildings nearing completion, work will begin in October on the installation of the equipment that will process the city’s waste and recycling. This will take around 16 weeks to complete after which there will be a period of commissioning to calibrate the plant and to ensure it is working correctly. Once testing is complete, SUEZ will fully take over the operation of the new facility in the summer of 2017.

The development represents an investment of approximately £27m in Aberdeen and has employed up to 65 people during construction. A further 40 new, permanent jobs will be created when operations begin in the summer of 2017.

Tim Hughes, SUEZ Project Development Manager, said:

“We’re delighted with progress to date. Construction is proceeding according to plan and we’re confident that the project will be delivered on time and on budget at which point it will begin to make an enormous contribution to the city’s ability to recycle and recover its waste.”

Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said:

“This facility is essential for the city in that it enables us to provide extensive and convenient recycling services to all households including those in the city areas that have not had recycling colelctions before. By processing the mixed recycling here in Aberdeen we are providing new employment opportunities and keeping the value associated with recycling in the Northeast.”