Work is almost finished on the huge recycling centre Arsenal Football Club has funded near its new stadium.
Operational trials are due to start in the next couple of weeks at the £60 million Hornsey Street recycling and waste transfer centre.
The premiership champions are moving from Highbury to the site of the North London Waste Authoritys previous waste-transfer unit in north London.
As part of the deal to secure the land, Arsenal agreed to relocate the unit and has funded the building of a state-of-the-art complex.
The new site is an area that had lain derelict for more than 20 years, and will also feature commercial buildings and residential housing. The facility includes a public-access recycling centre, bulk recycling facilities and a waste transfer plant. Built over three floors, it also houses garages and workshops.
Up to 25,000 tonnes of waste can be passed through the Reuse Recycling Centre, and the North London Waste Authority will ensure at least 50% of this is recycled. The London Borough of Islington estimates that 7,500 tonnes will be recycled by April 2005.
An impressive list of materials will be separated at the site. Storage containers exist for green waste, wood, rubble, paper, cardboard, ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal, fridges, freezers, other electrical items, textiles, plastics, cans, clear glass, green glass, gas bottles, cement bonded asbestos, motor batteries and motor oil.
The complex nature of the building, the lack of space in the capital and the number of vehicle movements meant a number of innovations were necessary in the sites construction.
Because the site had to be constructed as quickly as possible, special assembly rigs were designed that allowed fast installation. As the site is in a busy residential and commercial part of London, minimising the impact it made on its surrounding environment was key for planners.
Noise from the centre will be absorbed by 1,400 acoustic baffles installed on the first floor. The building and its systems are also specially designed to contain noise and odour.
Part of the roof is covered with thousands of oxygenating alpine plants, which will create an eco-friendly environment, according to an Arsenal spokesman.
The special fire risk posed by the development meant that ventilation was also important, according to construction firm Senior Hargreaves. Systems were specified to give three to six air changes per hour rising to 10 per hour in the case of a fire. Sprinklers have also been installed to contain fire.
An LPG fuel dispenser is being built into the centre to allow Islingtons council vehicles to top up on the environmentally friendly gas.
The Arsenal spokesman said: Similar to the new stadium development, the new waste and recycling centre will be a state-of-the-art facility, and a considerable, environmental improvement on the old facilities.
The current site close to the new stadium is also a waste transfer site, but the waste is not reprocessed as efficiently.
The new site will not only cater for the waste brought in by the council, but will also be a reuse and recycling centre for the people of the borough, including provision for bulk recycling.
More than 2,000 tonnes of steel, and 20,000 tonnes of concrete have been used in constructing the building. It also contains seven industrial compactors, 11 double-width car stackers and a weather station. u