The facility forms part of the North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP), which also involves the construction of a 700,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant.
Half of the resource recovery facility is to be used as a reuse and recovery centre, which “for the first time” will allow north London residents to bring their household recycling to the EcoPark.
The other half will be a recycling and fuel preparation facility, where borough vehicles will deliver bulky waste, street sweepings and fly-tipped litter.
Material will be shredded, with recyclables such as wood, plastics and metal extracted and the remainder prepared for treatment such as energy recovery.
The NLWA says it expects the resource recovery facility to manage around 135,000 tonnes of material each year.
Clyde Loakes, chair of the NLWA, said on 11 August: “I was delighted to visit the EcoPark this week to see the first pieces of steelwork be put in place for the new resource recovery facility and public reuse and recycling centre.
“This major milestone is part of our investment in recycling infrastructure which is the most significant north London has seen for a generation, to help boost household recycling rates to 50%.”
The NLWA says contractor Taylor Woodrow will use nearly 3,000 tonnes of steel to construct the resource recovery facility, scheduled for completion “next year”.
“The start of steelwork marks an exciting milestone for the project” – Steve Pate, project director of EcoPark South for Taylor Woodrow
Steve Pate, project director of EcoPark South for Taylor Woodrow, said: “Following successful completion of groundworks, piling and reinforced concrete operations, the start of steelwork marks an exciting milestone for the project.
“The coming weeks will see the buildings for this this flagship facility really start to take shape.”
In addition to the resource recovery facility, Taylor Woodrow is contracted to build a new visitor and education centre known as EcoPark House.
The NLWA told letsrecycle.com yesterday (19 August) that the resource recovery facility would receive and sort material collected from the seven north London boroughs that make up the waste authority, alongside waste brought directly to the site by residents or businesses through the reuse and recycling centre.
Household dry mixed recycling will continue to go to Biffa’s own Edmonton materials recycling facility (MRF) under an NLWA contract, to be sorted for recycling and for onward reprocessing into new items.
An NLWA spokesperson told letsrecycle.com: “When the new resource recovery facility becomes operational, it will not change the current contract NLWA has with Biffa. The resource recovery facility will focus on extracting recyclable materials from the waste our residents have presented as bulky general waste.”
They added: “The NLHPP is not delivering a MRF. Instead, we are building a resource recovery facility to maximise recycling from bulky waste.
“The resource recovery facility will have capacity to accept more of the borough’s bulky waste collections and is being built to replace the recycling processes that are taking place at the current site, operated by LondonEnergy Ltd.”
The NLWA is made up of seven boroughs in North London: Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. It is estimated these seven boroughs will generate around 850,000 tonnes of waste by 2025.
The NLWA says it wants to drive up north London’s household recycling rates from 30% to 50%.