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£15.4m Viridor investment in Masons MRF transformation

18th February 2019

A £15.4 million Viridor investment in the Masons Materials Recycling Facility, near Ipswich, will allow the company to transform the plant’s operations, improving capacity and output quality.

The significant investment in modernising the facility, built in 1998, is part of a 10-year Viridor-Suffolk County Council contract renewal, let on behalf of the Suffolk Waste Partnership which acts as a key component of the council’s plans to make the most of residents’ recycling efforts at the kerbside. The new contract commences on 16 May 2019.

Viridor’s Managing Director of Recycling and Integrated Assets, Paul Brown, said the investment would increase Masons MRF’s capacity, from 65,000 tonnes per annum to 75,000 tonnes (17 tonnes per hour), with a significant investment in mechanical recovery equipment, including 11 optical sorters.

The upgrade will also feature 111 conveyors (1,124 metres running through the plant), an additional trommel and two more balers to prepare the material for its onward recycling and reprocessing journey.

The process targets mixed fibre, news & pams, card, mixed plastic, HDPE, PET, steel and aluminium.

Mr Brown said: “Viridor has a clear focus on developing the real opportunities to put quality recycling materials back into the economy where they belong. This starts with viewing waste as a resource, rather than rubbish, and, thanks to Suffolk’s commitment to recycling, and this new Viridor investment, we are well positioned to make the most of the county’s recycling opportunities.”

He added: “The Masons investment plan has been specifically designed not only to achieve greater capacity but to match the quality of its output with market requirements. The education centre and staff welfare facilities are also prioritised in this project.”

The project will also offer opportunities for local businesses.  Viridor, and its contract partners, Stadler Engineering and Nationwide Construction, are planning a ‘meet the buyer’ breakfast event to share information about the range of supply chain opportunities available and meet the procurement teams to find when and where these will be listed.

Paul West, Cabinet Member for Waste at Suffolk County Council, said: “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to get involved in the project and for the local economy to benefit.  From builders’ merchants to van hire companies, I would encourage local businesses to come along to the event to see what opportunities there may be for them.”

The modernisation programme will run from March to December, during which time Viridor will send Suffolk’s recycling to other UK sorting facilities.

The project will also see a £20,000 upgrade in the Masons MRF Education Centre, where visitors, including school children, will continue to learn more about recycling and how putting the Right Stuff in the Right Bin can see waste transformed and put back into the economy as a manufacturing resource.

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