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Commercial MRF with half a million tonne capacity opens in Leeds

A mixed commercial waste facility in Leeds that spent £5m on expansion plans so that it can sort half a million tonnes of waste a year has opened.

Leeds Paper Recycling has around 80 collection vehicles for use in and around Yorkshire. It also takes in waste at its Stourton facility in Staffordshire from companies such as Veolia, Premier Waste and PHS.

Despite its name the company takes in a mixed waste stream - from offices, restaurants, schools, colleges, shops and more.

The expansion has seen the 35,000 sq ft site expanded by another 100,000 sq ft. The facility currently employs 140 people and will take on between another 40-60 people on the way to reaching its full capacity within the next 12 months.

LPR told MRW none of the waste sent to its facility will end up in landfill. It will recycle all grades of paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, glass, wood, textiles, and bricks and rubble. Green, food and organic waste will be composted and further residues used for energy recovery.

Managing director, Jamie Todd, said: “It’s a wee bit different from a MRF where the waste comes from local councils, which is a bit easier to sort, in that we have to pre-sort the material coming in before we put it into the MRF.”

If a large consignment of mostly paper, for example, comes in it is tipped into the dry pre-sorted area. Whereas mostly restaurant waste, with a lot of food matter, would be tipped into a separate area for wet waste.

Todd said the big waste companies prefer using his facility as it not only helps divert from landfill but also is more “organised” and less likely to cause damage to their collection vehicles.

Polystyrene will be melted it down into briquettes so it can be handled and recycled more easily. Items such as mattresses will be dismantled and the arising material sorted by hand.

Todd said that the company plans to switch its fleet to electric powered vehicles. Even more ambitiously, he added, that he wants to be able to use the MRF’s own waste residues to power itself and the vehicles, as well as provide power for the local area.

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