A facility to recycle more than 60,000 tonnes of used glass bottles and jars into insulation wool has been officially opened in St Helens.
In a partnership between Veolia and Knauf Insulation, used glass is sorted and separated at a micro-level to deliver ’ultra-pure’ cullet.
The machinery includes vibrating screens for size sorting, magnets to extract ferrous materials and eddy current separators for non-ferrous materials.
Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice-president at Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “This innovative facility is a £10m investment in the UK green economy which is good for jobs, good for the community and good for the planet.
“To see our site officially open today is a vote of confidence in our technology and the quality of cullet we produce. By using a significant amount of this glass in its manufacturing process, Knauf Insulation is setting the standard for other manufacturers to follow – making use of recycled material [the] mainstream rather than niche.”
Brachlianoff said she hoped the partnership would pave the way for others.
John Sinfield, managing director at Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “As well as securing our glass supply, the quality and consistency that we are getting from the new facility will enable us to increase further the percentage of cullet we use in the manufacture of our glass mineral wool insulation solutions.
“This is also a real boost for the circular economy. The fact we have delivered this in partnership with Veolia demonstrates what can be achieved when two leaders in their respective fields work together to achieve mutual goals.”
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