4 September 2019 by Lucy Pegg

Coventry approves plans for regional MRF

Coventry city council has approved plans to move forward with the development of a £34.45 million regional Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

Coventry’s recyclable waste is currently sent to Biffa’s Aldridge MRF

A meeting of the full council unanimously approved the proposals at a meeting yesterday (3 September) – though this decision is still subject to approval by the five ‘partner’ councils, who will make their own decisions later this month.

The MRF would see Coventry city council, Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council, North Warwickshire borough council, Rugby borough council, Solihull metropolitan borough council and Walsall council bringing their sorting of recyclable waste in-house, in response to ‘rising’ private sector costs for sorting. (see letsrecycle.com story)

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Coventry’s Labour cabinet member for city services, brought forward the matter which had already been recommended for approval on 23 August by the council’s cabinet.

She said: “I think this is a good news story for the city and a step in the right direction.

“It will move forwards with all the innovations that are coming through looking at waste in the future years.”

“I think this is a good news story for the city and a step in the right direction.”

Cllr Patricia Hetherton, Coventry city council

Councillor Tim Mayer, Conservative shadow cabinet member for city services, praised Cllr Hetherton’s motion and gave his “upmost support” to it.

He added: “I think there’s probably not enough PR around trash and recycling and this is a really great move by officers and some really great work has gone into it.”

Savings

A report to councillors has suggested that £584,000 could be saved annually by taking the recycling sorting work in-house.

Once the development is approved by all local authorities, loan funding would be sought to pay for the development of the plant.

The council says recent procurement exercises suggest the upward trend in costs for the sorting of dry mixed recyclate is likely to continue – with West Midlands MRF gate fees expected to increase between £57 and £86 in coming years.

Costs of bulking, haulage and MRFs have risen to £1,652,614 in 2018/19, up from £457,400 in 2014/15, according to Coventry council. The tonnage handled has risen by just over 1,700 tonnes in the same time period.

It is proposed that the MRF will have a treatment cost of £44.31 per tonne for material entering the site. It is thought the facility would need a capacity of 120,000 to 175,000 tonnes to be commercially viable.

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