A total of £6.7m has been invested in the facility, located at Salmon Pastures near the centre of Sheffield, in recent years.
The £2million investment allowed four advanced optical sorters to be introduced. These sorters use X-ray and infrared technology to sort and filter glass, identifying items such as ceramics, stones, porcelain (CSP) and plastics and filtering these from the finalised glass cullet product.
Helped by the investment, the facility has achieved the ‘End of Waste’ accreditation for glass produced – an external quality standard recognising processing facilities who transfer waste material into a product and out of the waste cycle. The Sheffield site is only one of two processing facilities of this kind in the UK.
Brands such as Heineken, Budweiser, Jacobs Creek wines and the Scotch Whisky industry, as well as pharmaceutical firm Gaviscon receive output from Viridor.
The Sheffield site is described by the company as one of Europe’s most advanced glass recycling facilities – managing the equivalent of over 132 million wine bottles each year and achieving a reported 97% recycling rate for the material arriving on site.
Following his visit Clive Betts, chair of the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “I was very impressed with my visit to the glass recycling facility Viridor in Sheffield. The investment in the site not only benefits Sheffield but also other cities and business outside of Sheffield as well.
“Recycling is a very important issue and having modern facilities like this one allows it to be carried out in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.”
Opened in 2011, the facility features 12 optical sorters, over a mile of specialist conveyor belts and three floors of processing towers to refine the quality of the mixed glass.
Viridor claims to own the UK’s largest network of 327 advanced recycling, energy recovery and landfill diversion facilities, having invested £1.8bn in low carbon infrastructure. The company also has seven energy recovery facilities with four under construction across the UK.
Richard Jenkins, Viridor’s Regional Director for North, added: “We were delighted to welcome Clive to what is one of the UK’s most advanced glass recycling facilities and to mark our latest £2m investment to keep Sheffield at the cutting edge of this circular economy success story.
“Glass is infinitely recyclable and recycling makes a clear economic, environmental and social contribution to the region.
“With Sheffield linking to a network of 46 recycling, resource and energy hubs across the North, Sheffield takes our investment in the North West to over £800 million in recent years.”