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New plant recovers 90% of recyclable materials from ‘office waste’

05 June 2008

London’s new mayor, Boris Johnson, today (World Environment Day 5th June 2008) officially opened Bywaters new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), the largest and most advanced in the capital.

The opening of the state-of-the-art materials recovery facility comes just days after Mr Johnson agreed to chair the London Waste and Recycling Board and promised to champion recycling in London. Mr Johnson said: “The capital’s businesses are keen to be greener and recycle more of their waste, but we need to be able to meet this growing demand. I am delighted to be in the East End today opening this huge new recycling plant. This state-of-the-art facility is a welcome boost to my own goal of sending less rubbish to landfill and making London a world leader in recycling.”

With an input capacity of up to 250,000 tonnes of dry recyclables per year, it is the largest undercover dry recyclables MRF in the capital and is just a few miles from Canary Wharf and the City. Bywaters is a family owned business providing recycling and waste management services to businesses in London and the South East since 1952. The company specialises in providing complete recycling and waste management solutions to a number of customer segments including corporate, commercial, health, public and construction.

In 2006, Bywaters relocated three of their sites that fell within the Olympic zone to a new site at Lea Riverside in Bow. Bywaters owns and operates facilities on two sites, an 8.5 acre site in Leyton and the 9.2 acre site in Bow. Residual and construction waste facilities are run from the Leyton Recycling and Waste Management Centre where the company operates a construction and demolition plant and a manual Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

Bywaters has invested over £7m in a cutting-edge MRF at their Lea Riverside Recycling and Recovery Centre Bow site. It supports its Bycycler recycling system where customers segregate their waste into two main streams – ‘dry recyclables’ and ‘residual waste’ – into to two bins. The ‘Dry recyclables’, which includes all types of paper (white, coloured, newspapers, magazines and books),cardboard, empty food and drinks cans, bottles and cartons, and plastic cups, are sorted and separated in the MRF in a largely mechanical process stream that takes waste from the plastic sacks through to bales of recyclable materials in a single stream of sortation.

‘Residual waste’ from includes food scraps, crisp bags, sweet wrappers and anything contaminated with food. The system makes recycling easy and Bywaters believe that by implementing this system effectively, its customers can typically recycle up to 80% of their office waste. Out of that 80%, the company expects to be able to recover at least 90% through the MRF in fifteen different material streams.
The MRF can process all types of commercial and office dry recyclables, was designed and built by Bywaters in conjunction with Kaizen Recycling Limited and Eggersman. The project was funded by the London Development Agency, BERR, Allied Irish Bank (GB) and Bywaters.

With an input capacity of up to 250,000 tonnes per annum, this MRF will process all the dry recyclables from its corporate, commercial, health and public sector customers. It is the largest undercover dry recyclables MRF in London and is largely automated to maximise efficiency. It has been operational since March this year and has generated around 100 jobs so far with the expectation that this number will grow over time.

The Lea Riverside Recycling and Recovery Centre also houses Bywaters vehicle and equipment maintenance operation, a Plasterboard MRF operated in conjunction with British Gypsum, and carton recycling and baling on behalf of Tetrapak from their Recycling and Recovery Centre in Bow.

From 2008 to 2009 Bywaters intends to develop its Leyton site as a state-of-the-art construction recycling centre to further improve its construction recycling. The company is also investigating waste-to-energy technology with the aspiration of ultimately installing a facility at this site to reduce the residual waste that goes to landfill. Bywaters is also in discussion with British Waterways, Transport for London and the Port of London Authority to explore the opportunity to transport incoming and outgoing material by water.

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