Greenstar UK invests $30 million for new Atlas site at Enfield

Greenstar UK, a recycling-led waste management company, is to build one of the capital’s largest materials recycling facilities (MRFs) which will process nearly 10 percent of north London’s waste. It has acquired the 192,000 square-foot Atlas warehouse building, purpose-built on a nine acre site.

Adjacent to major transport links, the site will be fitted out with the most modern technology for processing recyclable materials. It will also be a depot for up to 60 recycling vehicles which will collect commercial recyclables.

Valued at around $30 million, the deal is Greenstar’s largest strategic investment to date in developing its national MRF infrastructure, and is part of its plan to be the first fully integrated, end-to-end recycling service provider in the UK.

The Greenstar Atlas site is licensed to process up to 270,000 tons of recyclables annually through its MRF, as well as for handling a further 270,000 tons annually through its waste transfer station. Regarded as one of the largest facilities of its kind in the capital, and providing support for a substantial MRF under-capacity in north London, the Greenstar site will be capable of handling an estimated nine percent of the area’s waste.

The waste transfer station is due to start operation in November this year, bulking residual waste for landfill disposal, while the MRF should be fully operational by July 2009. Initially creating approximately 25 jobs, the project is expected to create up to 215 jobs total.

The facility will be designed to process both domestic and commercial dry recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and glass containers, textiles and other materials. Its design and technology will enable the high quality processing of co-mingled or source-separated dry recyclables.

Greenstar advocates co-mingled recyclable collection, though not exclusively, on the grounds that it is more cost-effective than other collection systems, it is very easy to use, and is proven to increase recycling in both domestic and commercial situations.

Ian Wakelin, CEO of Greenstar UK, said, “Greenstar’s investment in north London comes at a critical time. It is really significant for the capital as there is a serious shortage of local MRF capacity. Our new facility is right in the heartland served by the North London Waste Authority which acts on behalf of seven London local authorities, and will go a long way to providing the recyclable processing and waste bulking requirements of the area.”

Wakelin emphasized the importance of a facility like Atlas at a time when both domestic and commercial recycling in the capital has to increase substantially, to meet targets set by both the Mayor of London and the government which is calling for a 40 percent national recycling rate by 2010.

“That’s why we’re also establishing a co-mingled recycling collection service for north London’s businesses,” Wakelin continued. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people and businesses to recycle more and to recycle better.”

In 2006/07, London produced around 2.2 million tons of household waste of which around 364,000 tons of dry recyclables were collected (around 16.7 percent). A 40 percent recycling rate will require recycling 880,000 tons by 2010, and 990,000 tons five years after that.

Gary Ince, CEO, North London Business comments, “Waste management is fast becoming an important business sector in north London, where several companies have located in the past decade. Greenstar’s investment in a modern processing plant will be an exemplar site showing how waste can be handled in a way that does not negatively impact an area or neighbors. This investment, at a time when other areas of the economy are slowing, is a real boost for the local Enfield area.”