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Major new recycling and waste management centre nears completion

SITA UK's new integrated waste management facility (IWMF) in West Sleekburn, Northumberland is nearing completion, with commissioning work due to start in October.

The £13 million facility is a key part of the infrastructure for the company's 28-year PFI contract with Northumberland County Council,which began in 2006.

Richard Hinchcliffe, SITA UK's General Manager in Northumberland, said: “It is vital for SITA UK, as the county council's partner, to invest in state-of-the-art new facilities that can handle the ever-increasing amount of recycled materials collected, and also achieve the ambitious landfill diversion targets that have been set.

“The partnership is aiming for just eight per cent of Northumberland's waste to be sent to landfill by 2012. That will make the county one of the greenest for waste management in the UK.

West Sleekburn, which is due to be fully operational by April 2009, is crucial to the county council's and SITA UK's plan to increase recycling and divert as much of the county's waste as possible. It will consist of two central elements – a materials recycling facility (MRF)and a waste transfer station (WTS).

The MRF will process up to 50,000 tonnes of mixed dry recyclables per year, including magazines, newspapers, cardboard, cans and plastic bottles collected by the local district councils recycling schemes across the whole of Northumberland.

The WTS will handle up to 70,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from Wansbeck, Blyth and Castle Morpeth that, once bulked up, will be transported to the Tees Valley energy-from-waste facility, where it will be thermally treated to generate electricity.

Delivery of the West Sleekburn scheme is being managed on SITA UK's behalf by engineering consultants Atkins, with Edmund Nuttall acting as contractor for the building and civil engineering works and OKLM designing and installing the materials processing equipment.

Steve Best, Project Manager at Atkins said “This new generation of waste management facility represents the latest in design innovation and sophistication. Once complete the development will be one of the most advanced waste management facilities in the country and a model for others to copy.

“Atkins, Nuttall and OKLM were appointed because we were each able to clearly demonstrate our experience, skills and professional approach to undertaking a development of this type.

“We are pleased to be delivering the contract on budget and on schedule, despite the size and technical complexity of the facility and equipment inside it.”

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