Commercial glass collectors open Scottish hand-sorting depot

Essex-based commercial glass collector Raw Glass Recycling is preparing to open a second glass sorting depot in Scotland.

The depot will sort mixed glass into colour separated material than can be used by the glass container reprocessing industry.

But rather than using sophisticated colour separation equipment to sort the glass, like some glass reprocessing companies, the depot workers will sort the material on a conveyor belt by hand – as they do in Raw Glass's Essex depot.

Managing director Andrew Wong told "There is no contamination in the glass because it is all hand picked. We hand pick out clear and amber and non-glass contaminants and the smaller pieces go in with the green."

Mr Wong said the new site, in Broxburn, West Lothian, will be twice the size of its 10,000 square foot depot near Thurrock. It will open in March, on a fixed lease site which has cost the company £500,000-£750,000 to refurbish.

It is just eight months since the company began its free glass collections to pubs, clubs and restaurants in Essex in July 2003 – but it is already expanding to Scotland.

In Essex, the company collects about 80 tonnes mixed glass every day from more than 300 licensed premises. The Scottish facility will take in 10 tonnes glass a day at first. The material will be collected from local businesses free of charge on a daily basis by Raw Glass's fleet of 20 vehicles. It also hopes to take in material from local authorities and other collection companies.

Mr Wong said the cost of collection in 1100 litre bins – which the company is supplying to local businesses – was £7-10 per tonne, but said the money would be made up by selling the material to processor British Glass in Alloa.

In Essex, Raw Glass sends its glass to British Glass in Harlow. Mr Wong said as well as commercial collections, it also received domestic glass from Cleanaway and Thurrock county council.

600450 Commercial glass collectors open Scottish hand-sorting depot
Date: 19 February 2004

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