Viridor and the Clyde Valley Waste Partnership successfully divert black bag household waste collections away from landfill, helping not only Scotland meet its landfill diversion target but producing energy direct to the national grid. During the first year of their collaboration 178,000 tonnes has been processed through Viridor’s Materials Recycling Facility at Bargeddie.
Viridor’s state-of-the-art residual Materials Recycling Facility (rMRF) at Bargeddie in North Lanarkshire has been designed to support a contract with five Scottish councils, a £700m, 25-year partnership led by North Lanarkshire Council, along with East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire councils. The contract began in January last year and the £22m plant is performing well. In line with expectations, it has successfully extracted more than 6,000 tonnes of recyclate during the first year.
Black bag waste is processed at the Bargeddie Hub and, after the recyclate is extracted for further processing, the remaining non-recyclable waste is sent for energy recovery. At Viridor’s Dunbar Energy Recovery Facility, the Clyde Valley Waste Partnership non-recyclable waste has generated enough electricity to power the equivalent of 32,391 homes.
Andrew McPherson, Head of Regulatory Services and Waste Solutions at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The Clyde Valley Waste Partnership has met its objectives in the first year of operations, and shows the benefits of local authorities working in partnership to identify solutions to common issues.
“Viridor’s investment in the latest technology at their Bargeddie and Dunbar facilities means we can create energy from the household waste that would otherwise go to landfill. Our partnership is making a significant contribution to meeting diversion from landfill targets as well as reducing our carbon footprint.”
Steven Don, Head of Local Authority Contracts, Scotland, said: “Viridor is pleased to mark this important milestone with the Clyde Valley partnership councils. Not only is it important to find a meaningful way to attach a value to waste which cannot be recycled, it is crucial for Scotland to have landfill-diversion contracts in place ahead of Scotland’s 2025 landfill ban. The partnership made history when the councils joined forces, the first to do so in Scotland, and it continues to collaborate to responsibly manage the regions’ waste so this material can be treated as a resource and not rubbish.”
Mr Don noted that the first year of the contract, and as part of Viridor’s commitment to Community Benefits, the company has delivered 21 free training workshops to support small and medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises. These covered a range of topics including: resilience and mental health in challenging times, alternative ways to generate income, beyond lockdown and furlough and managing redundancies.
Local schools are also set to benefit from the collaboration, with Viridor’s sponsorship of the GO4SET science, technology, engineering and maths programme in partnership with the Engineering Development Trust (EDT).
Three new apprenticeships have also been created, with a commitment to create a total of 16 apprenticeships over the course of the contract. At Dunbar, the apprenticeships cover mechanical engineering along with control and instrumentation, while Bargeddie has added an apprentice maintenance technician to its team.
Mr Don said that Viridor had also assumed responsibility for the councils’ four waste transfer stations, where household waste is received before being directed to Bargeddie; East Dunbartonshire Council household collections to the Mavis Valley Transfer Station; East Renfrewshire Council collection to Greenhags; North Ayrshire Council to Shewalton; Renfrewshire Council to Linwood and North Lanarkshire Council household collections sent directly to Bargeddie.