Country’s only one-site waste and recycling facility will divert 95% from landfill

​Date: 05/02/2015

In an investment worth c£100m we are working with Shanks Waste Management,  to open the country's only waste and recycling facility to deal with an entire district's waste at one site.

In 2013 the Council signed a 25-year deal with Shanks to help it overhaul the way waste from Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford and surrounding areas is dealt with, and to increase the district's recycling rate to beyond 52% by 2016 and divert 95% of waste away from landfill.

The new facility is expected to start taking waste in March 2015, as the start of commissioning phase, with full service starting in September 2015.

The high-tech facility uses the latest in recycling technology to automatically sort recyclable materials such as paper and cardboard, glass, cans and plastic bottles.

Lasers are used to identify the right type of plastic, an electric current makes aluminium cans ping into the correct hopper and a series of conveyor belts and machines simultaneously sort paper and glass. It also houses one of the largest waste autoclaves in the country, which will treat the waste as part of the process of generating energy to power the site.

The facility can handle up to 230,000 tonnes of waste a year and will generate roughly three quarters of its own energy needs from the waste it processes.

The opening of the new facility in March will herald the start of district-wide changes making it easier for people to recycle. People will be asked to put the glass and plastic bottles, jars and cans they currently put in a box into what's currently their paper and cardboard bin.

And around a third of households across the district will have a change of bin collection day as routes have been re-designed to make them the most efficient once the South Kirkby facility opens.

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "This is the biggest change to the way we deal with our district's waste in more than eight years. We are pleased to be investing in the latest technology to help increase our recycling rate and divert around 95% of our district's waste away from landfill.

"More than 60 permanent jobs will be created at this facility, boosting the local economy and offering opportunities to local people."

Peter Eglinton, Managing Director of Shanks Waste Management, said: "As a leading waste to product company, we are delighted to be nearing completion of the South Kirkby residual waste treatment facility. The facility will help to make more from the waste produced by the District by increasing recycling, generating green energy and producing compost for land remediation and use by residents.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the authority and local residents to increase their diversion from landfill using this genuinely sustainable solution."

The project was helped by a £33m grant from Defra and is worth over £750m in total.

The partnership with Shanks also included new building, plus upgrading and reorganising other household waste recycling centres in the district.