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Recycling centres gearing up for busiest two weeks of the year

07th January 2020

Viridor recycling plants across the country are gearing up for the busiest two weeks of the year.

For many material recycling facilities such as the one at Ford in West Sussex, the second week of January represents peak season as the majority of Christmas-season waste pours in from collections made all over the county.

So unit manager Russ Tuppen spoke to BBC Radio Sussex to explain just how he and his team prepare to face the influx and manage all that extra work once the collections arrive.


He said: "There's a two week cycle of people's recycling being collected across the county and that means we will see a peak at the end of the second week of January.

"We get on an average month 6,000 tonnes of material, and in January it's 8,000 tonnes of material. We put on 30 extra working hours to deal with that extra material.

"For us there are two clear messages - getting the right material in the right bin and the other is: clean, dry and loose. Rinse out your bottles and your containers just to get rid of that bit of food contamination as otherwise it can cause problems down the recycling stream."


Ford receives about 78,000 tonnes of waste in a year, which means in January alone they will receive more than 10 per cent of their total waste for 2020.

Russ said about 92 per cent of everything brought in to Ford is reused and recycled.

The BBC's visit to Ford is not the first time Russ and his team have been in the media this month, as last week they were featured on Channel 5 show Grime and Punishment: Dirty Britain.

And it is not just the mainstream media that Ford's doors are often thrown open to.


Russ said: "We've got about 100 conveyor belts here that are linked together by clever pieces of equipment, mechanical sorters, optical sorters and human intervention, which all sort your green wheelie bin into single streams of high quality material such as your clear drinks bottles.

"We use mechanical screens that sorts by size of item, we use magnetic and electrical optical systems to detect different plastics and then finally we use people just to do some quality assurance on the product before we bail it.


"You have got to think of trying to get the country and the world into a circular economy - the more we recycle the less virgin and natural resources we have to use and the better for all of us.

"Recycling is absolutely worthwhile. We hold open days here that people can come along and visit and if they are cynical and don't believe that what we are doing is worthwhile then please come along and see what we do."

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