The £1.2 million expansion of a recycling facility on the outskirts of York is bringing Yorwaste even closer to providing its commercial customers with a zero to landfill service.
The company has extended the main recycling building at its Harewood Whin Resource Recovery Centre, allowing it to increase the amount of waste it can accept by 100%, from 40,000 to 80,000 tonnes a year.
The building only became fully operational in January 2012 and landfill diversion rates already stand at 60%, and are expected to rise in excess of 80% within six months. It has also led to the creation of 14 new jobs for local people.
Presently, any material that cannot be recycled goes to landfill, but with Landfill Tax increasing to £64 per tonne from April 2012, Yorwaste – as a result of the processing equipment it is also investing in – will be able to process the remaining waste to produce a solid recovered fuel that can then be used for energy recovery purposes.
Commercial and industrial waste is the main focus of the recycling operation and the long-term goal for Yorwaste is to provide customers in this sector with a zero waste to landfill service – something it has already helped confectionery giant Nestle to achieve.
Craig Capper, Yorwaste Site Manager at Harewood Whin, said: “The extension to the recycling building, along with the investment in new equipment, brings us considerably closer to offering a zero to landfill option to all our customers.
“Because the waste is so varied, and often mixed together, commercial and industrial waste traditionally went to landfill but we are now able to separate and divert much of this material away from landfill.
“Any of the remaining waste that cannot be recycled can now be turned into a solid recovered fuel product that can then be sold to the energy from waste market, which has major environmental and cost benefits.”
Waste that comes into the recycling building at Harewood Whin is fed through a machine that initially screens the material by size. This screened material is then fed into a sorting station where it is separated mechanically and by hand.
Material such as cardboard, paper, cans and plastic is sent for baling to Yorwaste’s nearby Hessay recycling facility, before being sold via the recycling markets; wood is either used for animal bedding, new board products, or used in a specialised green waste composting process; metal is sent for scrap and rubble/bricks are used to repair/maintain roads on the Harewood Whin site.
Mr Capper added: “We are maximising the value of the material that comes into the recycling building and offering our customers a true total waste management solution.”