Plymouth’s new recycling facility now running


Photo by Theo Moye 17/06/15 Viridor launch their new Materials Reclamation Facility with Plymouth City Council. Pictured at the plant are, from left, Viridor Area Manager Chris Lynn, Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr Brian Vincent, Plymouth City Council Service Planning and Development Officer Shirley Harrington and Viridor Regional Manager Colin Richardson.

Pictured from left, Viridor Area Manager Chris Lynn, Cabinet Member for Street Scene Councillor Brian Vincent, the Council’s senior waste advisory officer Shirley Harrington and Viridor Regional Manager Colin Richardson.

A new facility that will help Plymouth’s residents recycle more of their rubbish into high quality materials is now operational.

The new Material Recycling Facility, which is operated by Viridor, is now taking recyclables from Plymouth homes recycling green bin scheme.

It uses some of the most advanced automated materials sorting equipment available, including sensor technology that uses infrared to scan material and ‘air knives’ – strong blasts of air that blow material off conveyor belts into the correct material stream, saving the need for hand sorting.

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet Member for Streetscene said: “With the new MRF and national Recycling Week starting, this is an ideal time to remind people what we recycle here in Plymouth.

“We can now take glass in the household recycling collection, which has increased our recycling by over 2,100 tonnes – which is a great result.”

The plant has been built to process 20,000 tonnes of recyclables a year.

Here in Plymouth we can recycle:

  • Metal including aerosols, drinks cans, aluminium foil tins, pie and cake trays, ready meal trays, takeaway containers, biscuit and sweet tins, food cans/tins
  • Cardboard including kitchen and toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes, egg boxes, sleeves from ready meals, toothpaste boxes
  • Glass bottles and jars of any colour, including medicine bottles
  • Paper – including brochures, catalogues, envelopes (including those with plastic windows), cards, junk mail, leaflets, magazines, newspapers, office paper, shredded paper, telephone directories and wrapping paper
  • Plastic – including margarine tubs, cosmetic and toiletry bottles, detergent bottles, washing up liquid bottles, drinks bottles (tops removed), egg boxes, fruit punnet/containers and yoghurt pots

Broken glass and other glass such as Pyrex, light bulbs and fluorescent tubes cannot put in the household recycling collection however light bulbs, including florescent tubes and low energy lamps can be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Chelson Meadow and Weston Mill.

Colin Richardson, Viridor Regional Manager said: “The delivery of this facility will enable Plymouth to benefit from a ‘cradle to grave’ transparent service which helps achieve their objectives of contributing to the economic, social and environmental goals of sustainable development within Plymouth.

“Viridor’s strong track record of delivering vital infrastructure to achieve ever increasing recycling rates will enhance the performance of the city’s current recycling and support realistic improvements to be achieved.

“I would like to thank everyone for their hard work in delivering this excellent facility and service.”

The MRF is the latest in a number of significant changes to the city’s waste and recycling collections. Last year the Council began to take glass with its doorstep recycling collection.

Earlier this year rounds and collections across the city were changed to make the service more efficient and to gear up to the start of the Energy from Waste operations.