Recycling and recovery

Official opening of new recycling facility in Aberdeen

A £27 million recycling and resource facility which recycles waste from Aberdeen was today (20 October 2017) officially opened by Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing and David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Office of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK.

The Altens East site, where mixed recyclables which are collected from homes and businesses are sorted before being sold as high-quality materials for re-processing, is Scotland’s newest and most advanced materials recycling facility.

It is capable of processing 20 tonnes of mixed recycling an hour, including glass, cardboard, newspaper, plastics and metals, and is part of Aberdeen City Council’s Zero Waste project aimed at increasing recycling rates and reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

The latest recycling rates since the roll out of a new recycling-priority bin in March shows 49% of the city’s waste is now being recycled, which is a 25% increase on the 2016 figure.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The new £27 million recycling and resource facility is a first for Scotland as it’s the country’s newest and most advanced mixed recycling facility.

“I am delighted to open this fantastic new facility as it will further our commitment to be a Zero Waste city by encouraging recycling as much as we can.

“We have already increased our recycling rates by 25% since the introduction of a new recycling-priority bin to residents six months ago and the new facility will mean more of this waste will be made into new goods which is good for the environment and our residents.”

The recycling and resource facility was developed by SUEZ recycling and recovery UK on behalf of Aberdeen City Council, and it diverts 71,000 tonnes of Aberdeen’s waste from landfill every year, helping the city to meet Scottish Government recycling and recovery targets and saving residents in the region of £6m in landfill tax per year.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “This state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in Scotland and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK is delighted to be working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council in creating a society where there is no more waste.

“The facility has created almost 50 jobs for local residents and we are looking forward to further deepening our relationship with the local community.”

The new recycling and resource facility enables Aberdeen City Council to meet the requirements of the landfill ban which comes into effect at the end of 2020. The waste which cannot be recycled is also processed and, at the moment, it is shipped to northern Europe for reprocessing in energy-from-waste facilities there.

The Aberdeen £150 million energy-from-waste facility – the NESS Energy Project  – will process this waste which cannot be recycled and will provide renewable energy to provide heating for homes, businesses and neighbouring areas to help reduce fuel poverty.

Planning permission was granted in October 2016 for the energy from waste plant which will process non-recyclable waste from Aberdeen City Council as well as neighbouring local authorities, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council.

The £27 million recycling and resource facility will also include a replacement vehicle depot for the council’s waste collection fleet, which was formally based on Powis Terrace, and shared office space for both SUEZ and Aberdeen City Council.

The new facility also has an Energy Efficiency ‘A rating’ which was the first City Council building to achieve this standard, with several energy efficient techniques incorporated into its design, including solar panels on the building roof, energy efficient LED lights, and SUEZ has been working with the manufacturers of its processing equipment to reduce its power demand.