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Avondale throws in towel on recycling venture

A Scottish MRF is to close after only a year, with its owners blaming falling values and volumes of recyclates.

The £20m Avondale Advanced Waste Treatment facility opened near Falkirk in February 2012, when a company statement said this would be “a springboard for further development taking Avondale beyond its traditional business of landfill services and will firmly root Avondale in recycling and renewables”.

But now chief executive John Holt has said: “While we believe the longer-term opportunities for professionally operated businesses such as ours are positive, increasing operating costs, the reduction in volume and market value of recyclates and rising refuse derived fuel (RDF) disposal prices are having a direct impact on the sustainability of the MRF.

“Having carefully considered all of the issues and options, we have proposed to close the MRF from 31 May and have started collective redundancy consultation with employee representatives.”

Avondale’s landfill business is separate and unaffected by the closure.

The MRF had charged a gate price to receive and treat municipal, commercial and industrial black bag waste.

Holt said problems had been compounded by there being little opportunity to sell RDF, as it was cheaper to send residual waste abroad “to be burned”.

Avondale’s website shows the company originally had ambitious plans for the MRF, describing a proposed second phase when a thermal drying facility would produce higher quality RDF, and a third in which an advanced thermal power generation facility was planned.

Readers' comments (1)

  • From John Glover - Managing Director, Bywaters. What is the Scottish Parliament doing to address this issue? Where are the LOCAL plants to use the SRF/RDF to create electricity? Government (England, Wales & Scotland) has talked about local electricity production for years, but WHERE is the delivery? JSG

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