Waste not, want not

Waste not, want not

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A pioneering recycling plant, radically reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, has been officially unveiled in north Shropshire.

Taking five years from initial conception to fully operational status, the Tudor Griffiths Group’s materials recycling facility cost around £1.5 million to develop and will create up to 30 new jobs.

Based at the company’s Wood Lane headquarters, on the outskirts of Ellesmere, the plant is capable of recycling 90 per cent of all commercial waste material brought to the site.

Managing director Tudor Griffiths said: “The TG Group’s MRF is Shropshire’s most progressive waste management facility and will rank alongside the very best in the country. We believe this investment is good news for our company, local employment and the environment.”

The facility was designed and constructed in conjunction with McPhillips, based in Telford.

Every aspect of the plant has been considered to provide environmentally sustainable features, including the use of low-energy lighting and a system to harvest rainfall from the plant’s roof to use on-site for washing vehicle wheels.

Part of the funding for the 2,000 sq m plant was awarded to the TG Group by WRAP, a government-funded organisation aimed at recycling and reducing waste. WRAP awarded the Ellesmere-based project a grant of £245,000.

More than 90 per cent of every container of waste processed at the MRF plant is either reclaimed or recycled. Wood, bricks, metal, paper, cardboard and ferrous metal are all separated out – even the soil which is removed is used for restoration schemes.

Wood is shredded and screened to be used in chipboard manufacture and agricultural processes – some has even been laid for walkways around the TG Group’s wildlife reserve. Upvc window frames are shredded to form plastic regrind, metals are shredded and melted down for further processes, while cardboard and paper are baled and sent to paper mills for reuse.

The remaining which does end up on the landfill site – less than 10 per cent – plays a role by creating methane, which is captured and used to produce electricity which powers the plant itself, displacing the use of traditional fossil fuels. Excess electricity generated is fed into the National Grid.

The project has been brought to life by TG Group’s general manager of waste services Tony Williams who takes as much pride in the natural wetland created as a haven for local wildlife on a former landfill site as he does for the vast, automated recycling plant.

He said: “It’s all about sustainability. We are very proud of what the team has achieved here and want people to realise what can actually be done. Already we are looking to do even more.”