A new state-of-the-art waste and recycling facility in Cumbria, which will result in 50,000 tonnes of waste being diverted from landfill each year, is now operational.
The £1.25 million Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), built by Cumbria Waste Group at its Hespin Wood site near Carlisle, handles both commercial and domestic waste from the Cumbria region.
The duel use facility accepts co-mingled recyclables from domestic waste collections – cans, plastic, card and bottles – for reprocessing, as well as commercial, industrial and construction waste.
Any material which cannot be recycled is processed into solid recovered fuel (SRF) or refuse derived fuel (RDF) for use in waste-to-energy facilities, ensuring minimal waste goes to landfill.
High recycling rate
Mike Bareham, managing director of Cumbria Waste Group, said: “We are delighted to have the MRF operational and to be achieving very high recycling rates on behalf of our customers.
“We are achieving recycling rates of up to 98 per cent by using the MRF to process co-mingled materials and through selling the materials on the recycling market we are even able to offer our customers a rebate, so as well as meeting their environmental responsibilities, they are earning an income from their waste as well.
“This is a significant investment on our part but one which was needed to ensure waste generated in Cumbria is actually processed in the county, rather than having to be sent out of the area.”
The facility has already protected 14 local jobs, with Cumbria Waste Group expecting to create further employment in the coming months.
The news in Cumbria has been followed with a new report from the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee, which voices concerns about the stagnation in recycling levels across England.
The report argues that “significant Government intervention” may be needed in the waste management sector for England to play its role in hitting the UK’s target of recycling 50 per cent of household waste by 2020.