Viridor and TOMRA poised to collaborate on new deposit return program in Scotland
UK-based Viridor has a network over 300 advanced recycling, energy recovery and landfill diversion facilities with 600 waste collection vehicles. Viridor and TOMRA Collection Solutions have formed a partnership which brings extensive recycling expertise and experience together in a bid for the design, build and operation of the Scottish deposit return scheme (DRS) counting and sorting centres. Deposit return schemes for beverage containers play a vital part in preventing littering and driving sustainable recycling outcomes in more than 40 jurisdictions worldwide. It is acknowledged as a highly effective way to secure high community participation and high return rates. The deposit, being reimbursed in full, offers a financial incentive for consumers to return used containers for recycling.
The counting and sorting centres represent a critical part of the infrastructure required to underpin the efficient and accurate function of the DRS. Viridor is one of the UK's biggest recycling and resource management companies with significant Scottish investments and TOMRA is a recycling infrastructure company operating across more than 80 global markets.
Viridor and TOMRA believe that Scotland has demonstrated a leadership position in the development of a circular economy through the DRS initiative. This policy will drive collection rates on drinks containers to levels in excess of 90%, reducing littering and contributing to net zero climate goals, when introduced in 2022.
Viridor Director of Business Development (Polymers) Luke Burgess said: "Viridor, has a long history of investing in Scottish recycling infrastructure, and the DRS offers the opportunity to supplement that investment and contribute to green job creation and the development of a truly circular economy. We are delighted to build on our relationship with TOMRA, the world leader in the provision of equipment for deposit return schemes, to work with Scotland to develop a smooth transition to a sustainable future.
"TOMRA has extensive global experience in operating counting and sorting facilities and the partnership will add this to Viridor's experience of working with Scotland to deliver its recycling, resource management and wider environmental goals. This experience and commitment to the goals of the Scottish circular economy means we have a very strong offering to make. The successful implementation of DRS in Scotland is of paramount importance if we are to reach the recycling goals of the Plastics Pact, a target that Viridor, a founding member of the Pact, is committed to helping to achieve."
TOMRA Collection Solutions UK & Ireland Managing Director Truls Haug said: "The TOMRA Viridor partnership is formed under the shared vision to facilitate a modern, cost-effective and best practice Scottish deposit return system, acting as a catalyst for sustainable recycling outcomes, delivering key sorting and counting centre services to the deposit operator. Our partnership forms a unique and complementary mix of global and UK-based experience, enabling a compelling ‘fit-for-purpose' service offer - which if accepted could be deployed in due time for scheme commencement. We are inspired by the progress made to date and the opportunity ahead of us."
Viridor works in partnership with more than 150 local authority and major corporate clients with 34,000 customers across the UK. The company has the UK's largest network of 300+ advanced recycling, energy recovery and landfill diversion facilities with 600 waste collection vehicles securing materials for our network of assets.
Viridor manages approximately 6.7 million tonnes of recyclates and resources each year with 2.6 million tonnes recycled and 2.9 million tonnes sent to energy recovery. It has specialist glass recycling facilities at Newhouse in Scotland and in Sheffield, England, with a plastic recycling facility in Rochester, Kent, and a plastic reprocessing plant in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. The company is building a new £65 million plastics recycling facility, that will be co-located with the Avonmouth ERF. The company also has 11 energy recovery facilities (ERFs) in UK city-regions. It is also one of the UK's largest independent power generators from waste with 1,807GWh of energy generated - enough to power 500,000 homes.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.