Shanks and Cumbria county council have opened a new mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Carlisle three months ahead of schedule.
The Northern Resource Park plant is key to a £700m waste disposal contract agreed between the council and Shanks in 2009. It is expected that the MBT plant will reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill by 80%.
It is the first of two plants designed to deal with Cumbria’s waste disposal needs, with a second MBT plant in Barrow due for opening in April 2013.
Cllr Tim Knowles, Cumbria’s cabinet member for environment, said: “It’s a massive step forward for Cumbria. This new MBT plant will revolutionise the way we deal with waste in the north of the county and ensure we have a greener, more cost-effective system of managing rubbish for years to come.”
Shanks’ UK Managing Director Ian Goodfellow said: “Shanks takes great pride in delivering a sustainable solution to Cumbria’s waste ahead of schedule.
“We are pleased that Cumbria County Council and its residents can now share the benefits of making more from waste, diverting more material from expensive and harmful landfill to increased recycling and fuel production.”