SUEZ submits application for Aberdeen waste facility

Plans to develop a joint waste and recycling facility in Aberdeen by early 2017 have been submitted to the city council.

The site where the proposed Altens East MRF and RDF facility would be established
The site where the proposed Altens East MRF and RDF facility would be established
The site where the proposed Altens East MRF and RDF facility would be established

SUEZ’S Recycling & Waste Recovery UK division, formerly SITA UK, is seeking planning permission to develop the materials recycling facility (MRF) and refuse-derived fuel (RDF) plant on the Altens East Industrial Estate south of Aberdeen.

The proposal also include a replacement depot for the council’s waste collection vehicles, which is currently located on Powis Terrace.

According to a local development plan prepared by SITA UK earlier this year, Aberdeen council has identified a need for around 300,000 tonnes of waste treatment capacity.

The MRF will sort mixed recyclables collected from the kerbside before being transferred on for reprocessing and recycling. It follows the roll out of a new commingled recycling system in areas of the city, which could replace kerbside sorting completely by 2015.

Meanwhile, the RDF facility would process residual waste for export from Aberdeen, with a view to reducing the council’s £5 million landfill tax costs. Currently, Aberdeen recycles only 37% of its waste, while the remaining 63% is sent to landfill.


If the project gets the green light, it is envisaged that operations will begin no later than 2017, with the aim to increase recycling and create jobs in the area.

An artist's impression of the SUEZ Aberdeen facility
An artist’s impression of the SUEZ Aberdeen facility

The submission follows a pre-application process by SUEZ to consult local residents on the plans. The firm held public exhibitions in January and February 2015 so that residents could express their views (see story).

The Altens East site has been chosen as the preferred location due to its “proximity to the established industrial area and its capacity to house the proposed facilities”.

The company has been keen to highlight that no waste would be burned on the Altens East site, as the RDF facility will only be used to shred and bale residual waste prior to transfer to an energy-from-waste plant “out of the area”.

SUEZ operations manager in Aberdeen, Colin Forshaw, said: “During the past four months, we have consulted widely on the plans, offering information and listening to feedback from local representatives and members of the community. Our consultation events were well received and, without exception, I think people recognised the need for a facility like this in the city.”

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