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The 'Smurf' has arrived

The UK's first 'Smurf'- a system designed to service the recycling needs of smaller communities - has begun work for Mid Devon Community Recycling.

It will allow Mid Devon to recycle 500 tonnes of plastic a year and 350 tonnes of mixed cans.

The MRF was constructed by Peak. Its managing director Bob Wilson said: "It's essentially a MRF, but we call it a 'Smurf' as it is small and blue."

Mid Devon Community Recycling is a non-profit organisation that collect door-to-door and have just secured a new contract to collect cans and plastic bottles.

Wilson continued: "An eddy current separator puts the materials into three streams- non-ferrous cans, ferrous cans and plastics, before each is fed into balers. Whitham Mills have provided the balers, but we can design to specification what the organisation needs."

Peak are looking to target remote areas which don't have the road infrastructure or population for larger MRFs. This would include places with unique logistical problems such as Devon, Cornwall, rural Wales, some parts of Scotland and smaller urban areas.

Wilson said: "There have been a few teething problems as this is the first we have built, but they will be ironed out. We will learn from these, but overall the co-operation between us and Whitham has been a success."

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