Following a tour of the new 25m MRF at Smugglers Way, Wandsworth yesterday (March 10), Princess Anne said: I am grateful for any opportunity to highlight the issue of waste disposal in this country which is one we like to ignore.
Referring to the education centre at the facility and employment created, she said: This facility offers opportunities for education, the reuse of materials and employment at all levels.
The Princess Royal then emphasised the importance of waste and recycling in terms of helping the environment and providing a sustainable future and raised a concern about a convenience society.
Princess Anne said: I fear that this world has become much more of a convenience orientated establishment and we have to do better, not just for this generation, but for future ones.
She concluded by praising Cory Environmental and the local authorities involved in the project. I would like to congratulate all those that have supported this and the schools that going forward will be able to see the plant.
The Princess Royal was welcomed by Councillor Tim Ahern of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Cllr Ahern is chairman of the Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA) which awarded the contract to Cory in 2002. Three other London authorities are members of WRWA: Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth and Wandsworth.
Cllr Ahern said: We do a great deal with a great of rubbish, some half a million tonnes a year. Rubbish is an extremely important business and its treatment and recycling and disposal is very important to us as is the green agenda.
Our state of the art recycling facility is combined with a re-use shop and means we can recycle as much waste as possible.
And, the WRWA chairman praised Cory Environmental for its imaginative contractual proposals, adding: We are now looking at a new era in getting the maximum value out of our waste.
Peter Gerstrom, chief executive of Cory Environmental, said: The opening of the MRF is an important step for Corys operations in London. The MRF will have a very significant impact on our abilities to recycle great volumes of waste going forward.
“This official opening marks the culmination of a long process and I would like to thank everybody involved for their hard work on the project.
The MRF has been built in a relatively compact high building and is a first in the UK for Canadian company Machinex.
Machinex said that the MRF is one of the most automated MRFs in the world. The challenge of this project was the complete automation of the single-stream system.
Speaking to letsrecycle.com, Pierre Pare, president of Machinex, said the plant was very significant to the company. We have a number of sorting projects in America and very pleased to have developed this facility. It was a challenge because of the small building and we partly use gravity on the four levels for the process. There are 14 Pellenc optical sorting machines.
A crane and grab unit are used to load the system and sorting is by Machinex separation screens and the Pellenc equipment as well ferrous and non-ferrous magnets. A glass clean-up syste has also been installed to provide material for reuse. Balers are also supplied by Machinex, one for baling containers and the other for paper and board.
The Smugglers Way site is one of a network of facilities in London operated by Cory Environmental, the largest of which is the Riverside Resource Recovery energy from waste plant being built at Belvedere on the south bank of the river Thames in the borough of Bexley.
The maximum capacity of the plant is 670,000 tonnes per annum with an average capacity of 585,000 tonnes. It is currently undergoing heat trials and will take residual waste from the WRWA area using the river for delivery.
Corys Riverside facility will also have capacity for additional wastes although these mainly have to come via river delivery.