Notts approves plans for plastic recycling facility

Nottinghamshire county council has approved PET recycling company Pro Environmental’s proposal to convert an HGV dismantling depot in Calverton into a plastic recycling facility.

Nottinghamshire county councillors unanimously approved Pro Environmental's plans at a planning and rights of way committee meeting on 19 April (picture: Nottinghamshire county council)

Councillors unanimously approved the plans at a planning and rights of way committee meeting yesterday (19 April).

The £20 million facility will accept up to 100,000 tonnes of waste each year, of which 80,000 tonnes will be plastic.

Pro Environmental estimates the facility would provide an initial 50 jobs, with the potential for 25 further roles if it expanded site operations.

During the meeting, Adrian Smith, corporate director of place at the council, said: “The development proposals will secure a significant capital investment for the establishment of a state-of-the-art plastics recycling facility, allowing plastics to be recycled into reusable materials, diverting these waste streams from energy recovery or landfill disposal and assisting in achieving more sustainable waste management at a higher level in the waste hierarchy.”

There was some opposition to the plans; Calverton parish council expressed concerns relating to noise, traffic, and litter, while the county council received 37 proforma template objection letters and 12 individual letters from residents who had fears in relation to noise, odour, and vermin.

However, Cllr Boyd Elliott, representative for Calverton, said: “Pro Environmental have been very open and transparent in everything they’ve done. All in all, it’s extremely positive for the area and a sound investment.”

Facility

According to Pro Environmental’s planning application, most of the material accepted at the site would be delivered from a waste transfer or treatment facility such as a materials recycling facility, having first been processed to segregate any unsuitable wastes.

It’s extremely positive for the area and a sound investment

  • Cllr Boyd Elliott, Nottinghamshire county council

The application says Pro Environmental states that “waste contracts are not currently in place to identify the origins of the waste feedstock which would be managed within the Calverton facility” but suggests most of the material would come from local producers due to lower transport costs.

However, some of the feedstock will come from outside Nottinghamshire, the application says.

Plastic waste will arrive at the site in plastic-wrapped bales, which will then be split using a bag splitter, shredders, and a trommel.

The plastic will be separated into different grades through blowing, air density separation, ballistic separation, and optical sorting to manufacture a recycled plastic product for re-sale as a non-waste material.

PET

Pro Environmental describes itself as “the UK’s leading PET specialists”. The company currently recycles PET plastic bottles at its site in Rochester, Kent.

Pro Environmental currently recycles PET plastic bottles at its site in Rochester, Kent

“The battle we face is always against the export market and this needs to stop,” Ryan Burley, Pro Environmental’s chief executive, told the meeting.

“This will have a far wider environmental benefit by allowing the full recovery of recycled plastic materials and converting them back into a useful resource.”

Mr Burley said Pro Environmental was “particularly drawn” to the area for its excellent transport links and highly skilled workforce and had secured a 25-year lease for the site.

He added that being geographically central in the country enabled Pro Environmental to reduce its transport movements, “thus reducing CO2 emissions,”, while Nottinghamshire’s waste management policies and practices are “conducive to generating a circular economy”.

Addressing residents’ concerns, Mr Burley said: “We take all concerns raised by the local community seriously and are committed to maintaining an open dialogue.

“We have designated our entire top floor offices as an educational centre with a viewing platform.”

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