Viridor plans glass recycling investment

Company will spend €30 million at new facility in Scotland.

January 30, 2014
RTGE Staff
Glass Legislation & Regulations Municipal / IC&I

The waste and recycling firm Viridor, based in the United Kingdom, has announced plans to invest €30 million ($44.5 million) to build a glass recycling facility in western Scotland. The 70,000-square-foot facility in at Newhouse, Lanarkshire, also will produce material to be used to make insulation products. The new facility will replace a currently operating glass processing facility located in eastern Scotland.

Viridor says the new facility will be one of the most advanced glass recycling plants in Europe, capable of recycling 200,000 metric tons of glass per year – 150 percent of all glass packaging currently collected in Scotland. The company’s existing glass processing facility is able to process around 100,000 metric tons of glass containers per year.

The sharp increase in the capacity at the new facility will require Viridor to establish various partnerships to boost recovery levels.

The Newhouse recycling center is being designed to “drive Scotland’s recycling economy, reduce reliance on imported materials and [ensure the recycling] of 100 percent of Scottish packaging glass,” says Viridor. The facility will recycle glass from 17 Scottish local authorities and will recover up to 97 percent of input materials.

Equipment at the facility will include 15 optical sorters, X-ray sorters, more than half a kilometer (nearly one-third of a mile) of conveyer belts and 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) of electrical cabling across three floors of processing towers.

The investment will allow Viridor to color sort mixed glass back to original streams, while rejecting material contamination. Installation of equipment at the Newhouse started in January, with production scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014 and the plant fully operational by the third quarter of 2014.
Ian McAulay, CEO of Viridor, says.

“Building on our €120 million ($165 million) network of Scottish recycling-led infrastructure, this latest investment, bringing the U.K.’s most advanced glass recycling center home to the central belt, places Scotland at the leading edge of global glass recycling,” adds McAulay.

“A vital key in unlocking Scottish Government circular economy policy, this latest investment will not only help drive the level and quality of glass recycling across the country, but will be a real boost for a Lanarkshire economy fast becoming an important base for Scotland’s green sectors,” says McAulay.