Novelis completes 1.7m Warrington plant upgrade

Aluminium can recycler Novelis has completed a 1.7 million upgrade at its recycling plant in Warrington, which will enable it to better separate cans from plastic and paper contamination.

The company has carried out the upgrade in order to allow it to process more material from the UK market at the 130,000 tonne-per-year capacity plant, which currently only takes around 25% of its input from UK suppliers.

Novelis' Warrington can recycling plant
Novelis’ Warrington can recycling plant

Most of the capacity at the plant is currently taken up by cans imported from Northern Europe, but Novelis will need to take a greater number from UK sources once its 400,000 tonne-per-year capacity plant in Nachterstedt, Germany, now under construction, is fully up and running.

According to the company, the rotorshredder equipment installed at the Warrington facility as part of the upgrade has improved processing volumes by more than 250%. This enables the plant to produce the 90% recycled aluminium Evercan body sheet that was recently unveiled by the firm (see letsrecycle.com story).

The rotorshredder works in conjunction with a pre-existing optical sorting system to clear contaminated used beverage cans, leading to efficiencies for other processes and improvements in production levels.


And, the company says that as a result of the upgrade, the plant will be better able to remove contaminants such as paper and plastic, although the system has not been designed to handle fully mixed recyclables.

Novelis Warrington plant manager Brian McCallie said: This investment brings an increased ability to process material from local sources and will make a big impact on our UK operations.

Its also an important step towards reaching Novelis goal of increasing the recycled content of our products across our global operations to 80 per cent by 2020.

The Warrington can recycling plant on Thelwall Lane, Latchford, was opened by the firm in 1991 and according to the firm has the capacity to recycle more than the total number of aluminium drinks cans currently sold in the UK. Novelis estimates that the UK can market consists of around 110,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent to more than seven billion cans.

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Last year, it also announced plans to increase the recycled contents of products across all its international operations to 80% by 2020 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Novelis, a subsidiary of Asian aluminium and copper producer Hindalco Industries, operates in 11 countries internationally. Following investments of around 320 million over the last two years, it plans to double its global recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons by 2015.

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