7 January 2010

Biffa unveils plans for second super-MRF

Waste management firm Biffa has unveiled plans to develop its second ‘super-MRF', with proposals for a £20 million, 200,000 tonnes-a-year capacity plant in the West Midlands.

The 200,000 tonnes-a-year capacity MRF is set to be developed at the Midpoint Distribution Centre in Minworth

The 200,000 tonnes-a-year capacity MRF is set to be developed at the Midpoint Distribution Centre in Minworth

The state-of-the-art Minworth plant is set to be constructed at the Midpoint Distribution Centre near Junction 9 of the M42, to the North West of Birmingham – just 10 miles from rival Greenstar's existing 300,000-tonne-a-year capacity MRF at Aldridge.

The plant already has an environmental permit and planning permission, which has allowed Biffa to achieve an early start date on construction.

The development comes as part of Birmingham-based Biffa's plans to develop a series of large-scale recycling sites, with the company set to open another 200,000 tonnes-a-year capacity sorting plant at Trafford Park in Greater Manchester later this month (see letsrecycle.com story).

Dr John Casey, Biffa engineering director, said: “The plant at Trafford Park comprises a unique combination of mechanical and optical sorting systems and has been designed to operate with very high levels of automation and efficiency making it the most advanced plant in the UK. This new Minworth plant will replicate that technology and scale.”

The Minworth and the Trafford Park plants are intended to sort material from municipal and commercial & industrial sources and are part of a focus on dry recycling as Biffa moves away from landfill operations.

Biffa claims that the Minworth facility will be able to achieve recycling rates of 96% and create 40 jobs when fully operational.

West Midlands

In addition, Biffa claims that the Minworth plant will go some way to helping address the projected 3.7 million tonnes shortfall in waste sorting and processing capacity in the West Midlands over the next decade (see letsrecycle.com story).

Mark Pearce, corporate director for regeneration at regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, described Biffa's new facility as proof that the West Midlands was being recognised as leader in the development of new waste infrastructure.

He added: “We very much welcome this important investment in recycling infrastructure, not only because it supports our overall strategy to divert waste from landfill but because the recovery of valuable materials from our waste is critical to the West Midlands economy.”

Biffa is hopeful of having the Minworth facility fully operational by September 2010.

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