23 January 2014

Viridor to open 25m Scottish glass recycling plant

By Michael Holder

A 25 million glass recycling plant in Newhouse, Lanarkshire, is set to open in the autumn under plans announced today (January 23) by waste management firm Viridor.

The facility will be capable of recycling 200,000 tonnes of glass per year and Viridor claims it will be one of the most advanced glass recycling plants in Europe.

(l-r) Colin Paterson, Viridor Scottish regional director; North Lanarkshire councillor Helen McKenna; and Ian McAulay, Viridor chief executive (Photo: Gary Baker)

(l-r) Colin Paterson, Viridor Scottish regional director; North Lanarkshire councillor Helen McKenna; and Ian McAulay, Viridor chief executive (Photo: Gary Baker)

The company said the plant would reduce reliance on imported materials for whisky and beverage bottles, ensuring 100% of Scottish packaging glass can be used by the Scotch whisky and drinks sectors.

Glass feedstock for the plant will be collected from 17 local authorities in Scotland with 97% of input materials being recovered. Viridor also claims the plant will achieve up to 99% product purity, which exceeds the requirements for the Scotch whisky sector.

According to the company, the plant will encompass some 15 scientific eye optical sorters, x-ray sorters, over 500 metres of conveyer belts and 2.5km of electrical cabling across three floors of processing towers.

Situated strategically adjacent to the M8 Motorway on a seven hectare site, the 70,000 square foot Newhouse recycling centre will create 30 full-time jobs, Viridor said.

Partnerships

Furthermore, the facility will boost the Scottish Governments warm homes objectives through a partnership with insulation provider Superglass in Stirling. Viridor also said another strategic partnership for the plant would be announced shortly.

Equipment for the new facility at Newhouse will start to be installed in the coming weeks, with production due to commence in summer and full operation by autumn this year.

‘Part of a 500m Scottish investment strategy to translate zero waste policy into practice, the centre will drive sustainability for the Scotch whisky and associated sectors at the heart of Scotlands global position.’

Ian McAulay, Viridor chief executive

Ian McAulay, Viridor chief executive, said: Building on our 100m network of Scottish recycling-led infrastructure, this latest investment, bringing the UKs most advanced glass recycling centre home to the central belt, places Scotland at the leading edge of global glass recycling.

Part of a 500m Scottish investment strategy to translate zero waste policy into practice, the centre will drive sustainability for the Scotch whisky and associated sectors at the heart of Scotlands global position.

A vital key in unlocking Scottish Government circular economy policy, this latest investment will not only help drive the level and quality of glass recycling across the country, but will be a real boost for a Lanarkshire economy fast becoming an important base for Scotlands green sectors.

Zero Waste Scotland

The announcement was also welcomed by director of Zero Waste Scotland, Iain Gulland, who said the plant would bring best-in-class recycling technology to Scotland, helping create jobs directly and further down the supply chain.

He said: Zero Waste Scotland has worked to stimulate action to develop the circular economy for glass, including through support for new recycling collections infrastructure. This new investment will help capitalise on the unique opportunity we have here in Scotland for a vibrant, world-leading glass reprocessing industry worth millions to our economy.

Related Links

Viridor

Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association director of operational and technical affairs, said: The Scotch Whisky industry has ambitious green targets as part of its far-reaching Environmental Strategy. By 2020 distillers are committed to 40% of their product packaging being made from recycled materials. Glass accounts for the vast majority of the packaging of Scotch and we welcome supply chain innovation which advances glass recycling.

The announcement follows the close of Defras consultation on glass packaging recycling targets for businesses on Friday (January 17), with the likes of the ESA, Valpak, 360 Environmental and British Glass all putting forward their views (see letsrecycle.com story). Viridor has said it favours a do nothing approach, which would maintain the current 81% obligated target.

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