In 2015, waste recycling specialist Middleton Engineering took responsibility of designing and installing a complete material sorting system for Merthyr Tydfil Borough County Council. The contract was agreed after a £2million grant from the Welsh government, in a bid to help the authority meet recycling targets, allowing for a complete overhaul of the pre-existant recycling collection services.
This funding was primarily invested in new collection vehicles, depots and equipment, bringing about a transformation of the dated co-mingled recycling service into a new kerb-side sort system.
The new service means each household now has two recycling boxes and a reusable sack, allowing for weekly collection of most recyclable materials, alongside a fortnightly removal of garden waste products. All recyclate is then taken to the borough’s material recovery facility, where it is processed by the recycling sorting equipment.
The material sorting system was entirely designed, fabricated and installed by Middleton Engineering. The process, from start to end, took around 20 weeks and was completed by June 2015, in time for Merthyr Tydfil’s recycling relaunch in September 2015.
It was predicted that, this particular waste sorting machine would be set to handle a total of 5,000 tonnes of recyclate per annum; but is capable of sorting 1.2 tonnes and baling 5-6 tonnes per hour. This solution, provided by Middleton Engineering, includes an in-feed conveying line with external sorting bays, an elevated picking station with television monitoring, variable belt speed control, an over-band magnet and Eddy current separator.
There was also a building extension and civil works completed, in order to house the in-floor sections of the system. The remaining plastic in the waste stream is fed through a Middleton Engineering bottle perforator. Storage bays were also provided for the collection of sorted materials, prior to being processed by a fully automatic Scapa Middleton ME2R80 Twin Ram Baler with in-feed conveyor.
Speaking at the opening of the material recovery facility in 2015, The Welsh Government’s Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said:
“My ambition is for Wales to become number one in Europe for recycling. The high-quality, high recycling, low-cost services being provided here in Merthyr can be provided right across Wales.”
“I would like to see a standard waste and recycling service that is distinctly Welsh and based on the principles of sustainable development. That’s the journey we are on and I’m confident that we are going to reach 70% recycling before the target date of 2025 and become number one in Europe.”
Thanks to Merthyr Tydfil’s new collection service and Middleton Engineering’s MRF system, the district managed to, not only meet last year’s statuary recycling targets of 58% but massively exceed them by recycling 62% of all it’s household’s waste. This meant a huge increase of 25% on the previous year and made the council the 4th best for recycling in Wales. The district now looks set to exceed the Welsh Government’s 70% recycling target, well before the 2025 deadline.