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Biffa closes Trafford Park plant but pledges to re-open mixed plastics line at Redcar

Biffa is due to close its materials recycling facility (MRF) in Trafford Park, Manchester, and has been experiencing difficulties at its polymers plant in Redcar.

The Trafford Park MRF, which opened in 2010 and was hailed as ‘state-of-the-art’ at the time, will close in mid June.It processed plastics, aluminium, steel, paper and cardboard from commercial and industrial sources and some household collections.

In a statement, Biffa said it decided to close the plant after a review of its recycling infrastructure in the north west region, suggesting the firm experienced a lack of feedstock to its £13m Trafford Park plant.

Two possible explanations are a drop in waste arisings because of the recession and competition from plants recently built in the region by Viridor and UPM.

Biffa said services undertaken at the plant would be transferred “to similar facilities at Aldridge, Edmonton and new smaller facility at Irlam”.

The company said some 30 employees at the Trafford MRF “will be re-deployed locally where possible and new jobs are being created at the other sites as a result of the decision”.

The Biffa polymers plant in Redcar, near Middlesbrough, has also faced challenges as a result of reduced feedstock. The mixed plastics line was closed in January but is due to re-open later in the year, after Biffa said it “found a suitable feedstock which makes the plant a viable operation”.

The Redcar plant opened in 2008 to recycle HDPE. The mixed plastics line was opened in 2011 - it was the first of its kind in the UK at the time.

The firm added: “There will be substantial investment in new equipment over the summer and we will be running the plant full time from October.”

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