A family-run waste disposal company has opened the UK’s largest recycling plant of its kind on the back of investment of nearly £4 million.
Livingston’s Brewster Bros has launched the centre, described as a “game-changer” for the building industry, with the capacity to recycle 400,000 tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste a year.
The firm acquired the site, formerly a shale oil waste heap on Drumshoreland Bing in nearby Pumpherston, from fellow family-run recycling business Henry Gillies, retaining all 20 roles and making two new hires.
On the back of the £3.8m investment, which included a £2.1m spend on equipment from wet processing specialist CDE, the plant will provide waste-management services and recycled aggregates, such as sand, crushed stone and concrete, to builders, construction companies, ground workers and contractors.
It will use a specifically designed wet processing system for difficult construction and demolition waste materials, optimising material recovery.
The company forecasts the plant will provide an annual turnover of £3m, which it said would boost the local economy and provide future job opportunities.
Operating a zero waste to landfill policy, the plant said 100 per cent of the waste processed is turned into high-quality aggregate products that meet industry standards, while 90 per cent of the water used on site is also recycled.
Director Scott Brewster said: “It’s an exciting day as we officially launch the UK’s largest recycling facility of this type. Our number one aim is to treat and recycle construction and demolition waste as a resource, ensuring zero waste to landfill. We are looking forward to shaping the future of the recycling industry across Scotland and beyond.
“This new plant should act as a game-changer for the construction industry by saving money for our customers and ensuring they can dispose of their construction and demolition waste in a cost-effective and sustainable way.”
The new plant supports the Scottish Government’s circular economy Making Things Last strategy, which aims to ensure 70 per cent recycling of construction and demolition waste by 2020.
Stephen Boyle, strategic programme manager for construction at Zero Waste Scotland, a Scottish Government-funded organisation to support the circular economy, said: “In Scotland, the construction sector is responsible for producing nearly half of the country’s waste.
“By recycling, we can keep materials out of landfill and in high-value use for longer, reducing the need to quarry finite virgin material and helping the environment.
“But what the launch of the Brewster Bros recycling plant shows is that by recycling effectively we can also generate investment and create new jobs, which is great news for Scotland.”