Materials Recycling Facility

Solihull MBC has committed with other local authorities to develop a new world-leading next generation Material Recycling Facility (MRF) on the edge of Coventry.

A new city-based company overseeing the project, Sherbourne Recycling Limited, has been established, creating new jobs for the local economy; with further expected in 2022 when commissioning of the new facility begins. I attended the first shareholders board this afternoon as Solihull’s representative. You can find out more about the company via this website link: Material Recycling Facility Coventry – Sherbourne Recycling .

The new company, which is wholly owned by eight local authorities (Coventry City Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, North Warwickshire District Council, Rugby Borough Council, Strafford District Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Walsall Council and Warwick District Council), will provide the capital for the construction, with each partner also committing to a long-term waste supply agreement to commit all items collected from homeowners for recycling.

The MRF of the future owes its name to the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) at the heart of the system, including the most advanced technologies such as several sorting robots and optical sorters. The AI will allow real-time interconnectivity between the main sorting equipment. Furthermore, the operations management of this facility will be based, among other things, on the data collected by the AI. The plant will achieve high rates of material purity from the widest range of material recycled commercially and by householders, including low grade, single use plastics.

The construction of the facility will be delivered by Nottingham based Clegg Group, providing more jobs for the midland’s region.

The new facility will be located on former allotment land adjacent to the Energy from Waste facility that is operated by The Coventry & Solihull Waste Disposal Company Ltd (CSWDC). It will be just over 12,000 sqm’s; set on 4-acre site allocated for waste use in Coventry’s Local Plan back in 2017. Works have begun on site and is expected to take approximately 15 months for the initial building construction to be completed, ahead of the arrival of Machinex to install the waste processing equipment. The facility is expected to be fully operational by summer 2023.

Once operational the facility will be able to process 175ktpa recyclate from both domestic and commercial sources. By investing in technologies to achieve exceptionally high purity rates and tackle a wider range of waste materials, including single use plastics, the facility will be able to target UK based end processors and command a higher market price for the material streams created.

Machinex will deliver (for Sherbourne Recycling)  the most advanced Material Recycling Facility of its kind within the UK, and potentially one of the most advanced MRF’s around the world. This world-leading recycling facility will be able to treat up to 175,000 tonnes of mixed dry recyclables a year, will be operational by Summer 2023. The Material Recovery Facility will be operated by Sherbourne Recycling Limited; the wholly owned Local Authority company being established to manage the facility on behalf of the eight Partner Councils from the surrounding regions.

Machinex’s design utilises 14 SamurAITM sorting robots and 14 optical sorters (including 13 MACH Hyspec® optical sorters), within an overall solution to provide, what is certainly a highly automated and innovative state-of-the-art facility. It will also be one of, if not the first, facility in the world that integrates, at this scale, artificial intelligence at the core of its system, allowing real-time interconnectivity between the main sorting equipment. The system will be processing a throughput of 47.5 tonnes per hour of recyclables with an extremely minimized level of manpower, only five manual sorters. Machinex will also provide a semi-automatic sampling line to significantly reduce the manpower requirements to execute the daily auditing tasks.

This technologically advanced solution will mean the Coventry MRF will be able to deliver higher purity levels of recyclable materials, as well as the flexibility to ensure that it can react to legislation and consumer habits and the introduction of new and changing material steams, such as the low grade plastics separation.


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