A recycling contract delayed by a BBC documentary has finally got underway, with Grosvenor Waste Management taking over the Peterborough recycling plant.
The Kent-based company began work last week on the seven-year contract running Peterborough's materials recycling facility at Fourth Grove, Fengate.
”The original plan was to have the glass recycling capacity brought online about nine months after the handover of the plant. Now, realistically we would like to have this happen in the next six months. “
– Mary Corin, Grosvenor Waste Management
Following the six-month delay, the company said it aims to “fast-track” improvements planned for the plant, one of the UK's oldest waste-sorting plants.
The capacity of the plant is to be more than quadrupled to 90,000 tonnes per annum.
Grosvenor was originally awarded the contract last September. However, soon after announcing the contract win, council officers revealed the deal had not been signed off by councillors.
Before it could be signed off, Grosvenor was made the subject of a BBC documentary that made allegations concerning the export of materials for recycling. A subsequent investigation by the city council cleared Grosvenor to bid for the Peterborough MRF contract in March this year (see letsrecycle.com story).
Grosvenor now takes up the seven-year deal, taking over from recycling firm HW Martin. The contract has been agreed based on the city council making no payment to Grosvenor for running the MRF, a council spokesman said – the company will fund its operation based on the sale of materials, he said.
The company is to make 480,000 worth of upgrades to the plant, including new machinery to allow the sorting of glass at the Peterborough MRF.
Mary Corin, director of recycling development at Grosvenor, told letsrecycle.com there had been so much interest from other local authorities regarding the plant that Grosvenor is to speed up the plant's upgrades.
Ms Corin said: “The original plan was to have the glass recycling capacity brought online about nine months after the handover of the plant. Now, realistically we would like to have this happen in the next six months.”
Once the upgrades are complete, the plant will be able to sort up to 90,000 tonnes of materials every year. Currently, running on a single-shift system it is processing about 20,000 tonnes each year, collected in the Peterborough city council and Boston district council areas.
Although Grosvenor will be looking to sort material from other local authorities at the Peterborough facility, Ms Corin said materials currently processed at the company's MRF in Crayford, Kent, would not be diverted north.
Grosvenor's Crayford facility is itself due for upgrades, with a new plastics-sorting machine planned.