Bolton tip earmarked for £20m recycling plant to increase Greater Manchester’s recycling capabilities

Jan 16, 2024 | Sustainable Living

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A new £20m recycling plant could be developed at an existing Bolton tip to improve our region’s recycling capabilities to meet new government legislation.

The Salford Road site in Over Hulton has been earmarked as the location as Greater Manchester prepares for an influx of tens of thousands of tonnes of mixed recycling.

The current 100,000-tonne-a-year capacity of the Material Recovery Facility at Longley Lane in Sharston, Manchester, is not enough in light of updated recycling legislation from the UK Government.

As a result of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy (RaWS), all authorities across the country will be asked to collect lower-grade plastics such as pots, tubs and trays from 2026. Currently, in this region, the authorities involved in Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) collect higher-grade plastics found predominantly in bottles. In Greater Manchester, this change in legislation will create an estimated extra 36,000 tonnes a year of mixed recycling.

Cllr Tom Ross leader of Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Green City-Region Lead said: “We have a Material Recovery Facility at Longley Lane but it is 10 years old and it is showing age-related issues.

“We have assessed the implications of the changes and we think it is sensible to invest in the infrastructure to sort these materials.

“We have assessed some locations for a Material Recovery Facility and the preferred option is for one at our Salford Road site.

“The plan is for operation at the Salford Road site to be commenced with the additional technologies in place for pots, tubs and trays etcetera at which point the Longley Lane site will be decommissioned.”

Currently, the Salford Road site is home to a biowaste recycling centre and a mattress recycling centre both of which will move to make way for the Material Recovery Facility.

Work on the £20m facility is set to start next year to allow for planning permission and for other preparations over this year.

A report said: The advantages of this option are developing the Material Recovery Facility without disrupting district collections, and relocating current activities carried out in the building by repurposing other GMCA assets at alternate locations.

“This option also avoids the cost (£8 million-£10 million) of constructing a new building to accommodate the Material Recovery Facility as all proposed materials reception, processing and storage activities can be contained in the existing building.

“Another of the advantages of this option is the adjacent GMCA-owned solar farm that is generating electricity for export to the National Grid.

“The connections are available on site to switch the power from the solar farm to a feed for the operation of the facility. This will reduce operational costs to run the facility and contribute towards the decarbonisation of the GMCA waste estate.”

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