Rochford district council signs MRF deal with UPM

By Chris Sloley 

Rochford district council has signed an agreement to send commingled materials to paper giant UPM for sorting at the £17 million materials recycling facility it is developing in North Wales.

Rochford district council hopes that the arrangement with UPM will allow it to continue to increase its recycling rate
Rochford district council hopes that the arrangement with UPM will allow it to continue to increase its recycling rate

The Essex local authority will send 9,000 tonnes-a-year of material collected at the kerbside, including glass, to the paper recycling company from November 15 2010.

The £17 million materials recycling facility is being developed by UPM alongside its newsprint mill in Shotton. The 270,000 tonnes-a-year capacity plant is expected to be fully operational in January 2011, and will undergo commissioning tests in December.

Commenting on the deal with Rochford, Craig Robinson, head of recovered paper sourcing for UK & Ireland for UPM, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to work with Rochford. As an award winning council they have demonstrated continuous high standards which meet the requirements for our state-of-the-art facility.”

UPM revealed last week in a private briefing that it would be seeking to work closely with local authorities to ensure the quality of material being sent to the plant (see story).

UPM is the headline sponsor for the LARAC 2010 Conference and Celebrations that kicked off in Liverpool today (November 3).


Rochford has seen its recycling performance improve dramatically from 19% in July 2008 to 49.35% in 2008/09 after introducing a new waste and recycling collection service in July 2008.

The local authority is expected to claim the crown for best performing council with regards to recycling when official Defra figures for 2009/10 are published later this year (see story). And, it has also received praise from communities secretary Eric Pickles for its efforts (see story).

Discussing the UPM deal, councillor Mike Steptoe, Rochford district council's portfolio holder for environment, said: “Following an extremely competitive tender process UPM clearly demonstrated their understanding of our recycling needs.

“Their commitment to sustainable recycling solution matches our own vision. I am really pleased we will be working with UPM and hope that the recycling scheme will be improved further by the increase in the different types of materials that we are now able to recycle.

Cllr Steptoe added that the arrangement with UPM would offer the potential for the local authority to save money.


The announcement of the contract arrangement with Rochford came alongside UPM striking a deal with European print company Prinovis to recover all its pre-consumer material. Under the agreement, UPM will supply Prinovis with in-house waste management services, which marks the first time UPM has offered such a service on site.

Mr Peter Slack, operations director at Prinovis UK, said: “UPM demonstrated a thorough knowledge of our waste management needs and UPM Shotton's operation is a clear example of successful and sustainable manufacturing. The contract further supports our vision of environmental performance and improvement across all of our sites.”

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