Viridor opens state-of-the-art resource recovery facility

Article by Amanda Jasi

VIRIDOR has officially opened its £317m (US$417.3m), state-of-the-art, plastics recycling and waste management centre in Avonmouth, UK, which will generate 300 GWh/y of energy and reduce UK plastics exports by 8%.

According to the resource recovery and waste management company, the Resource Recovery Centre is a first, co-locating plastics reprocessing and an energy recovery facility (ERF) in one building. It will recycle more than 80,000 t/y of plastics waste to create raw material to return to the economy, saving 126,000 t/y of CO2 emissions. The ERF will divert 320,000 t/y of non-recyclable household waste from landfill, generating more than 300 GWh/y of electricity.

The new centre will allow Viridor to fully recycle in the UK more than 90% of the plastics it previously exported and cut UK plastic waste exports by about 8%. Viridor said the facility is integral to delivering its commitment to end plastic waste exports and invest in in-country recycling infrastructure.

Viridor’s facility has created 125 new jobs, and more than 500 people were employed at the peak of construction.

Viridor expects that five additional plastics reprocessing facilities at the same scale in the UK would end its plastic waste exports. These would generate a third of a billion pounds in investment, create jobs in communities across the country, and contribute significantly to critical targets for recycling and net zero. Kevin Bradshaw, CEO of Viridor, said the company is leading this effort and wants “to build more state-of-the-art facilities like Avonmouth”.

Bradshaw added: “Avonmouth is a clear statement of Viridor’s commitment to the UK’s decarbonisation and levelling-up agendas. Our investment is also a major step forward for our company as we work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2040 and become the first net negative emissions waste management company in the UK by 2045.”

Jo Churchill, Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaption officially opened the Centre.

She said: “Viridor’s ambitious new facility will be a game changer in our work recycling more of our waste and to reduce our use of polluting plastics – cutting exports of waste and making better use of our resources.

“The new Avonmouth site shows we can create jobs that have a positive impact on our environment, cut our CO2 emissions, and give our plastics new life.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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