21 March 2016 by Tom Goulding

Bryson wins £15m arc21 recycling contract

A contract worth up to £15 million for the processing of dry recyclables from six council areas in Northern Ireland has been awarded to Bryson Recycling.

The 12-month deal, which includes an option for extension, was procured by arc21 – the umbrella waste management group for local authorities in the east of Northern Ireland.

Bryson processes recyclables on behalf of local authorities at its MRF in Newtonabbey

Bryson processes recyclables on behalf of local authorities at its MRF in Newtonabbey

Under the arrangement, Bryson will process mixed recyclables and separately collected glass on behalf of six councils, Antrim and Newtonabbey borough council; Ards and North Down borough council; Belfast city council; Lisburn and Castlereagh city council; Mid and East Antrim borough, and; Newry Mourne and Down district council.

The contract has been split into two lots to reflect the different collection configurations between areas in the newly merged Newry, Mourne and Down district – with some recyclables to be processed by ReGen Waste. In total, the contract involves the processing of recyclables from close to 250,000 households across the six local authority areas.

Based in Newtonabbey as part of social enterprise the Bryson Charitable Group, Bryson Recycling already provides a kerbside collection service to over 170,000 households in Northern Ireland.

The company also operates a materials recycling facility (MRF) which processes recyclables from some of the councils featured in the arc21 procurement – as well as Fermanagh and Omagh district council.

As a result of the new contract, Bryson Recycling is to invest an additional £250,000 in its facility.

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Eric Randall, director of Bryson Recycling, said the company was “committed” to working with local buyers to find a market for the material streams.

He said: “We are delighted to have won this contract which secures the jobs of 75 staff at Bryson and demonstrates that social enterprises can deliver high quality, efficient and cost effective public services. We currently process 60% of the materials collected at the doorstep from Northern Ireland’s homes and look forward to continuing to help councils and residents recycle as much as possible.

“We are committed to working with local buyers and over 35% of the materials we handle are recycled in Northern Ireland, helping to support local jobs and the economy.”

Ricky Burnett, Policy & Operations director of arc21, added: “We are very pleased to have successfully concluded this procurement which will ultimately result in more material from all six of our constituent councils being recycled.”

Changes to recycling arrangements in Northern Ireland follows a period of municipal restructuring, with 26 local authorities merging to form 11 ‘super’ councils (see letsrecycle.com story).

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