7 April 2021 by James Langley

Contracts signed for Coventry’s in-house MRF

Coventry city council’s in-house materials recycling facility (MRF) took another step forward on 1 April with the signing of contracts to begin its construction.

The building of the 175,000 tonnes-per-year capacity facility will be delivered by the Nottingham-based Clegg Group, while Machinex is to be process equipment provider.

A drone shot of the former allotments on which Coventry’s in-house MRF will be built

Richard Dobbs, managing director of Sherbourne Recycling Limited, the local authority-owned company established to oversee the project, said: “Over the last decade it has been increasingly challenging and expensive for local authorities to manage recyclate collected at the kerbside.

“By creating a partnership, we were able to develop the business case for a regional 175,000 tonnes per annum facility, and now with Machinex on board as our process equipment provider, we are really excited about being able to take greater control and push market boundaries.

“After months of hard work, today signifies a huge achievement for all involved in the project. With all contracts now in place we can begin the hard work of building the MRF of the future and creating our place in the market.”

Sherbourne Recycling is run by a partnership of Coventry city council and seven other local authorities in the area.


Plans for the in-house facility first received approval in September 2019 (see letsrecycle.com story).

“We’re delighted to be on board and supporting with the construction of this state-of-the-art facility”

John Moxon, Clegg Group

Works are scheduled to begin on site in early summer, taking approximately 15 months for the initial building construction to be completed, ahead of the arrival of Machinex to install the waste processing equipment. Commissioning is expected in 2022 and the facility should be fully operational by summer 2023.

John Moxon, business development director at Clegg Group, said: “We’re delighted to be on board and supporting with the construction of this state-of-the-art facility. This project will make a real difference to the recycling capabilities in the West Midlands so we’re really looking forward to commencing work and bringing this project to life.”


The MRF is to feature integrated artificial intelligence, including several sorting robots and optical sorters, provided by Machinex (see letsrecycle.com story). The AI will allow real-time interconnectivity between the main sorting equipment and the operations management of the facility will be based on data collected by the AI, among other things.

The Coventry MRF will feature 14 SamurAI sorting robots provided by Machinex

Jonathan Menard, vice-president of sales and strategic positioning at Machinex, said: “Since selection back in December 2020, we have worked hard with Sherbourne to offer some value engineering and finalise the contractual documentation to assure a successful project and optimise efficiency of the sorting system.

“We are pleased to work with the whole team at Sherbourne and we could not think of a better partnership to accomplish the MRF of the Future and to disrupt the industry.”


Sherbourne Recycling is wholly owned by eight local authorities: Coventry city council, Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council, North Warwickshire district council, Rugby borough council, Strafford district council, Solihull metropolitan borough council, Walsall council and Warwick district council. Each will provide capital for the MRF’s construction and commit to a ‘long-term’ waste supply agreement, including all items collected from homeowners for recycling.

The facility will be located on former allotment land, adjacent to an energy from waste (EfW) facility operated by Coventry & Solihull Waste Disposal Company (CSWDC), an independent waste management company. During the last three months, the project team, led by Coventry city council, is said to have worked to conclude on-going discussions with CSWDC to provide a private wire connection from their EfW plant to power the MRF.


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