Hampshire revives plans for Eastleigh MRF

Hampshire county council agreed on 23 September to commission Veolia to prepare a planning application for a new materials recovery facility (MRF) in Eastleigh.

Veolia has worked in Hampshire since 1996 under a contract which runs to 2030

The council says the proposed 65,000 tonnes per year capacity facility would enable the county’s waste collection and disposal authorities to meet “potential future legislative requirements”.

It would recycle materials that Hampshire’s current facilities cannot, including plastic pots, tubs and trays (PTTs), glass and cartons.

A report which went before the council estimates the total cost of the outline planning application at £100,000. The report says the county council would meet the full cost and then charge Portsmouth and Southampton city councils for 11.5% each. The county council would fund the remaining 77%.

Cllr Rob Humby, the county council’s deputy leader and executive lead member for economy, transport and environment, said in a statement that Hampshire’s existing two facilities in Alton and Portsmouth were designed and built 20 years ago to deal with a set specification that “reflected the materials used at that time”.

He said: “The new facility would enable a wider range of dry mixed recyclables, collected at the kerbside, to be processed – sorting them into the constituent materials ahead of distribution to market and ensuring that Hampshire’s waste authorities continue to operate in line with government expectations and legislation.”

The development would also include a 20,000 tonnes per year capacity transfer station and a ‘material analysis facility’, which would examine waste samples delivered to the site.

Chickenhall Lane

Hampshire county council says its existing MRFs at Alton and Portsmouth are not capable of handling PTTs, plastic films, cartons or glass, so will be unable to meet the future requirements of the Environment Bill.

Hampshire’s existing MRF at Alton is not capable of handling PTTs, plastic films, cartons or glass

In 2018, the council purchased land off Chickenhall Lane in Eastleigh, with the intention of building a MRF there.

Last July, the council rejected Veolia’s plans for a £34 million capable of processing 125,000 tonnes of dry mixed recyclables per year at the same site, due to concerns about the requirements of the Environment Bill (see letsrecycle.com story).

However, Cllr Steven Galton, cabinet member for environment at Southampton city council, said of the new plans for the same site: “The development of this new materials recovery facility will not only enable far more materials to be recycled but will also simplify the recycling process for all of us, providing a long-term solution to the limitations of what can currently be recycled at the existing facilities.”

The facility would receive material directly from refuse collection vehicles, as well as bulk loaders bringing material from transfer stations across the county for processing. All processed material will be bulked out of the site to market directly, the council says.

Hampshire

Representing an estimated population of nearly 1.4 million, Hampshire county council had a household waste recycling rate of 41.7% in the 2019/20 financial year.

As a waste disposal authority, the county council has a statutory duty for the disposal of municipal waste arisings from across Hampshire.

Veolia was awarded a 28-year waste management contract with Hampshire, in conjunction with its waste disposal partners, the unitary authorities of Portsmouth city council and Southampton city council, as part of the joint council- and contractor-run ‘Project Integra’ in 1995. The deal was extended and now ends in 2030.

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