Suez begins £30m rebuild of fire-hit Aberdeen MRF

Suez has started work on rebuilding its materials recycling facility (MRF) in Aberdeen, which was hit by a large fire in 2022. 

The fire at Suez's Altens East MRF in Aberdeen began on 8 July 2022 and burnt for several days (picture: @SFRS_Shetland)

The company’s Alton East MRF caught fire in July 2022 in an incident which lasted for several days (see letsrecycle.com story).

A number of local authorities, including Aberdeen, Angus and Highland councils, sent material to the plant prior to the fire.

While the plant has been out of action, Aberdeen’s dry mixed recycling, including glass, is going to a facility around 280 miles away near Hartlepool, while material from the waste management company’s other council contracts was going to a facility near Fife.


The £30 million rebuild project will see Suez install “the latest technology and state-of-the-art machinery, improving the efficiency of the plant”. The outside of the plant will “look almost exactly the same”.

Suez explained that the rebuild will commence in phases, as the site is also home to a waste transfer facility and an office building.

The first stage has begun, with the removal of cladding from the current transfer facility structure. This is expected to be completed in Summer 2024, enabling recycling to be bulked on site before being transferred elsewhere to be recycled.

This process is currently being done south of Aberdeen, and so the focus on the transfer station will allow for efficiencies this year, saving time and mileage travelled for council vehicles for the interim arrangements.


Suez outlined that the rebuild is in line with Aberdeen city council’s ambitions for ‘Net Zero Aberdeen’ and its ‘Circular Economy Strategy’ which highlights the importance of maximising the value from waste by recycling at end of life and recovering materials.

It is expected that the full rebuild, including the recycling facility, will cost in the region of £30 million and will take around a year to build, followed by a 3-6 month testing and commissioning phase before being fully operational in mid-2025.

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