Northern Ireland firm Re-Gen Waste has announced a £10 million contract with glass recycling specialist High 5 Recycling Group.
Under the terms of the contract, the Newry-based recycling and waste management company will provide all of its collected glass to a Belgian plant operated by High 5 Recycling Group.
Re-Gen said that the deal ensures that 95% of its collected glass is processed ‘back to bottle’.
Re-Gen operates a purpose built factory and materials recycling facility (MRF) in Newry, which processes over 1.5 million tonnes of waste. The company operations include waste to energy, sorting of recyclable materials and MSW processing and engineering.
The long-term deal provides an end of market outlet for all glass gathered by Re-Gen in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Joesph Doherty, managing director of Re-Gen said: “This new contract means that Re-Gen can continue to offer a glass processing service to all our customers.
“Dealing with glass that is mixed together with other dry recyclable waste is one of the biggest issues facing materials-sorting facilities today. The majority are incapable of recycling glass due to breakage, which ultimately means glass ends up in landfill.
“In its unprocessed form, MRF glass is comprised of small shards of glass mixed with contaminates of paper labels, plastic caps and general dirt, which is of little or no commercial value. Separating recoverable glass from these contaminants and washing it produces a visually cleaner glass product and yields an added value product for resale.”
Re-Gen said it had invested in a glass screening plant to improve the quality of glass collected. The company claims that rather than sending the glass to landfill, 95% can now be recovered for recycling. The waste management company is now ‘uniquely positioned’ to accept and sort materials commingled with glass.
Commenting on the partnership with High 5 Recycling, Mr Doherty said: “Having conducted significant research in the sector, we established that High 5 Recycling operates the most technically advanced glass plant in Europe, with the requisite technology to successfully sort unprocessed and contaminated glass. Our decision to work together was an obvious one.”
The High 5 Recycling plant is owned by Suez (formerly SITA) and Sibelco Green Solutions and is sited in Antwerpen, Belgium. The company states that the plant can separate glass by colour using state of the art optical sorting machines, meaning that glass no longer has to be sorted by colour at the source. The process also removes end waste (KSP) which is vital to the quality of the end product. High 5 Recycling then offers the glass industry the four colours of glass requested for the production of bottles and other hollow glass containers.
Alexandre Halbrecq, director at High 5 Recycling said: “We have been extremely impressed to date with the quality of MRF glass that Re-Gen has supplied to us, no doubt attributable to the significant investment in their on-site, high tech glass screening plant.
“High 5 Recycling has developed a technology to allow the separation of this glass by colour. One of the end products is an added value glass coloured midway between amber and green called ‘dead leaf. The glass possesses interesting chemical properties of use to industrialists.
High 5 Recycling’s director added: “We are the first company to start producing this type of glass and look forward to a successful working relationship with Re-Gen where together we can yield recoverable glass to prevent it reaching landfill which is both wasteful and socially irresponsible.”