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Surrey consults on in-house 100,000 tonne MRF

Surrey county council has announced a “public engagement period” for its proposals to build a new materials recycling facility (MRF) in Longcross.

The council has consulted on the planned MRF, which will begin construction in 2026 if approved

The public engagement period runs from 5 February until 1 March and drop-in sessions will be held for residents to meet the project team and ask any questions they may have.

The local authority say that the proposed facility could process up to 100,000 tonnes of dry mixed recycling including plastics, carboard and steel cans from the region which would then be sent off to manufacturers to be turned into recycled materials.

If the proposed facility is give the green light, the council proposes construction start in early 2026 and last for around 26 months.

Initially the MRF is expected to process just over 70,000 tonnes per year of material from
surrounding boroughs and districts in the west of Surrey, (with the remainder being processed at an existing MRF at Leatherhead).

This represents about 65% of the recycling currently produced by Surrey households and is equivalent to the amount produced by just over 300,000 homes. The remaining capacity is planned to allow for an increase in the proportion of waste that is recycled.

Site

The proposed boundary for MRF site is highlighted in red (Picture: Surrey county council)

Five potential locations were considered for the MRF, but the site located next to Surrey county council’s former landfill site along Kitsmead Lane in Longcross was the only option capable of accommodating a MRF of the necessary size, according to the council.

Situated in a semi-rural setting with limited immediate neighbours, the location falls within the Metropolitan Green Belt, the legally designated green belt encircling London, the proposed MRF site features a mix of rough grass, scrub, and woodland.

‘Future proof’

According to the council the MRF would be owned by the council but the running of the MRF may be contracted out to an external operator.

It states that owning the MRF plant would give it more control of how the county’s recycling is processed. Currently waste gets sent to third parties and ‘further afield’.

It also states that running the MRF itself would allow it to “future proof” waste and recycling services to cope with its growing population and changing legislation.

‘Leaders’

Natalie Bramhall, cabinet member for property, waste and infrastructure at Surrey county council said: “This new facility is a key part of Surrey County Council’s ambition to be one of the UK’s leaders when it comes to recycling and sustainability.

“We are proud to already be the third best performing county council in England for recycling and committed to doing even more to improve recycling rates and reduce residual waste volumes further over the next decade.

“By sorting recycling here in Surrey, we can reduce costs to the taxpayer, ensure we have a resilient recycling system in place and importantly, reduce the environmental impact of long-distance haulage required to transport materials out of the county.”

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