Manchester&#39s £330m recycling plant proposals unveiled

8 February 2007

Manchester is to get two new materials recycling facilities and up to four in-vessel composting plants under a £330 million plan to recycle half of the city's household waste.

The city is also to have five mechanical biological treatment and anaerobic digestion plants to deal with waste the other half of residents' rubbish.

We now recycle a quarter of our waste. We want to increase that to 50% and we are investing in the technology that allows us to do so.
- Cllr Neil Swannick, GMWDA
The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority today revealed further details of its £3 billion waste treatment programme being supported by the Private Finance Initiative.

The programme is currently under negotiation with preferred bidders Viridor/Laing, a consortium of waste firm Viridor Waste Management and engineering firm Laing Roads Ltd (see story).

Announcing the details today, the Authority's chair, Cllr Neil Swannick said: "We are investing heavily in new equipment to ensure that Greater Manchester is ‘world class’ in it’s handling of municipal waste. With the help of householders across the conurbation we now recycle a quarter of our waste. We want to increase that to 50% and we are investing in the technology that allows us to do so."

The Authority is responsible for waste disposal on behalf of the metropolitan boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford – which includes almost one million households

Under the proposals, Peterborough-based PPS Recovery Systems Ltd is to provide two MRFs of a size similar to the 90,000 tonne-per-annum plant it built for Norfolk Environmental Waste Services in Costessey, Norfolk, which opened in 2004.

Sorting household materials including plastic bottles, glass and cans, the plants will use the latest separation technology, including screens and optical sorting systems, the Authority revealed, "to ensure high quality materials are sent to market for recycling".

The other main thrust of Manchester's recycling plans will be processing kitchen and garden waste at as many as four in-vessel composting plants. These are to be built and operated by Lancashire firm TEG Group under a contract anticipated to be worth £35 million (see story).

The TEG plants will each see around 125,000 tonnes of organic material each year being treated in "silo cages" for around 14 days, with material reaching the high temperatures legally required to treat foods that include meat products. The company already runs in-vessel plants in Preston and Perth.

Meanwhile, waste that is not separated for recycling or composting by householders will go to five mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plants for treatment.

This will see some recyclable material retrieved physically, while organic material will be subjected to anaerobic digestion (AD), which breaks down material biologically to generate a biogas, that can be used to generate electricity. The Manchester plants will, combined, generate about 5MW of power.

Cllr Swannick explained: "We are also seeking value from the 50% of waste that cannot be recycled or composted. Anaerobic Digestion and the production of a refined fuel product can help reduce the demand for imported fossil fuel and reduce the environmental consequences of using it. We are delighted to have identified a deliverable and affordable way to meet our environmental ambitions."

Enpure Clarke/Haase
These plants are to be provided by a link-up between two companies, Enpure Ltd and Clarke Haase Ltd. Enpure Ltd, based in Kidderminster, was formed last November as a £19m management buy-out from Purac Ltd from parent company Anglia Water Group. Clarke Haase Ltd is part of the Knowsley-based Clarke Group.

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The GMWDA said Enpure Ltd has operational facilities in Belgium, Germany and Italy, including a 150,000 tonne facility at Verona that opened in 2002.

It said Clarke/Haase has a number of MBT/AD facilities operating in Germany, including a 150,000 tonne facility that opened at Lubeck, Germany in 2006.