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Viridor opens glass recycling facility in Scotland

Scotland’s environment secretary Richard Lochhead has officially opened a £25m glass recycling facility in North Lanarkshire which operator Viridor says is the most advanced in the UK.

The centre at Newhouse boasts 15 optical sorters, X-ray sorters, more than 500m of conveyer belts and 2.5km of electrical cabling across three floors of processing towers.

Viridor says it is one of only three of its type globally, capable of recovering up to 97% of input materials and producing recycled materials with a purity of 99%. It will process glass from 17 local authorities with recyclates ultimately used by Scotland’s whisky and drinks industry.

The 70,000sq ft facility, developed on a recovered waste crime site which was closed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the police in 2012, has created 30 full-time jobs and been shortlisted for the Government backed Vibes Awards for its contribution to the circular economy.

Lochhead, second left above, said: “In a world of finite resources, where global populations and consumption growth are driving increased volatility and vulnerability in the supply of raw materials, the circular economy offers a new and exciting perspective. 

“Recycling is just a part of that. A more circular economy will conserve our finite resources, help support jobs in our communities and improve our quality of life.”

Ian McAulay, Viridor chief executive, said: “Building on existing networks and more than £357m of investment in Scotland’s green economy during the past 24 months, Newhouse brings the UK’s most advanced glass recycling centre home to the central belt and places Scotland at the leading edge of global glass recycling.

“A vital key in unlocking the Scottish Government circular economy policy, this latest investment will not only help to drive glass recycling and the sustainability of Scotch whisky, but will be a real boost for a Lanarkshire economy fast becoming an important base for Scotland’s green sectors.”

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