Scottish Government opens £25m glass centre

The environmental credentials of Scotland’s largest export took a significant step forward today as Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead MSP, opened the UK’s most advanced glass recycling facility at Newhouse, North Lanarkshire.

The facility, a £25m investment by Scotland’s leading resources and recycling company, Viridor, is one of only three such facilities globally.The Newhouse recycling centre is helping drive Scotland’s circular economy, reducing reliance on imported materials for whisky and beverage bottles, and ensuring 100% of Scottish packaging glass is fit for use by the burgeoning Scotch whisky and drinks sectors.Recycling glass from 17 Scottish local authorities, the facility recovers up to 97% of input materials, importantly achieving up to 99% product purity, exceeding the quality requirements for a Scotch sector focused on high-end product packaging.Developed on a recovered ‘waste crime’ site closed by SEPA and Police Scotland in 2012, the 70,000 Sq Ft Viridor site creates 30 full-time jobs whilst boosting government warm homes objectives through a partnership with insulation provider, Superglass in Stirling.The facility has been shortlisted for prestigious Scottish Government backed VIBES Awards for its contribution to the circular economy.

Featuring advanced recycling technology from across the globe, the centre encompasses some 15 ‘scientific eye’ optical sorters, x-ray sorters, over ½ km of conveyer belts and 2.5km of electrical cabling across 3 floors of processing towers.

The latest investment, part of £357m recycling and renewable energy infrastructure programme by the business in Scotland over the last 25-months, retains the firms position as Scotland’s leading recycler and recognises the shifting nature of glass recycling, offering the ability to colour sort mixed glass back to original streams for a high quality recyclate, rejecting material contamination.

Ian McAulay, Chief Executive, Viridor:

“Building on existing network and over £357m of investment in Scotland’s green economy over the last 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 Scottish Government circular economy policy, this latest investment will not only help 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.” 

Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, said:

“I welcome this significant investment in modern recycling infrastructure. Glass packaging is important to a number of Scottish food and drinks manufacturers and glass recycling makes sense for our economy and the environment.

“I recently launched the Scottish Government’s consultation on taking steps to create a more circular economy in Scotland. 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.”

Calum MacDonald, Director of Operations, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, added:

“This further investment by one of the UK’s leaders in recycling and resource management is a welcome sign of confidence in Scotland’s green economy. Viridor’s strong commitment to compliance demonstrates that economic growth goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability, supporting the vision of a circular economy.”

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“The launch of this new glass recycling facility at Newhouse has real potential to benefit to Scotland’s whisky industry and to boost our national ambitions for high quality recycling. We believe there is a fantastic opportunity for glass recycling to be a key part of Scotland’s circular economy, which the Scottish Government is currently consulting on plans for, so we welcome the investment by Viridor as a major step towards that goal.”

Cllr Helen McKenna, Convener of Environment, North Lanarkshire Council said:

“This major investment in world leading technology is great news for Scotland, for Lanarkshire and for the local community. Glass recycling is a great Scottish success story and the location of the UK’s most advanced facility at Newhouse will be fundamental to supporting the work undertaken by North Lanarkshire and other Scottish local authorities.

“Having worked tirelessly to boost Lanarkshire’s green credentials, from community recycling to attracting high tech jobs, it gives me great satisfaction to see world-class technology and green jobs for the local community.”

Julie Hesketh-Laird, Director of Operational and Technical Affairs, Scottish Whisky Association, said:

“The opening of Newhouse assists the Scotch Whisky industry by increasing the availability of high quality recycled glass.  As glass accounts for the vast majority of the packaging of Scotch we welcome this supply chain innovation at Newhouse which advances glass recycling. Such developments help the industry in its commitment to sustainability and delivering on its environmental strategy.”

Michael McMahon, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Uddingston and Bellshill constituency, said:

“The opening today of Newhouse is testament to the vision of both Viridor and North Lanarkshire Council, working together in partnership.  Having the UK’s most advanced glass recycling facility is an important step in securing economic growth, generating jobs, promoting sustainability, and developing our local skills base”.

Neil Gray, Member of Parliament for Airdrie and Shotts constituency, added:

“I am delighted at this investment which will support new jobs locally and provide a real boost to the recycling sector. It also takes Scotland forward another step in our drive towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society.”

600450 Scottish Government opens £25m glass centre
Date: 3 September 2015

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