Waste recycling technology firm Sterecycle has announced a £200 million expansion programme to build more recycling plants across the UK and create 300 new jobs.
The firm already has a recycling plant in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, which uses steam autoclave technology to handle unsorted household and commercial waste. The plant commenced its operations last June and its handling capacity is being increased to 200,000 tonnes of waste per year.
Sterecycle hope to build a second plant in Cardiff and has its eye on sites in a few other regions, including London.
Chief executive Duncan Grierson told MRW that the company was raising £50 million in new equity capital from institutional investors and that the rest of the funding was partly coming from its balance sheet, partly operational cash flow and probably debt funding.
He said that despite the credit crunch the waste sector was a growth sector and local authorities had to increase their recycling targets and reduce their waste.
Grieson added: The investment will increase our total number of plants to six and will create 300 new jobs across Britain. The fact that we are raising £50 million in a tough economic climate is a reflection of our confidence in Sterecycles novel technology and long-term prospects.
The use of steam, or autoclaving, in the waste sector has previously been relatively small-scale and limited to sterilising medical waste. Sterecycles waste treatment process steam sterilises the unsorted waste at low temperatures in rotating 40-feet long sealed vessels, using a combination of steam and pressure, treating 25-tonnes of waste in each batch. The waste is then sorted using a series of recycling processes such as size screening. The process is able to sterilise and recycle the steam cleaned metals and plastics, as well as convert the waste food and paper into a renewable energy source.