Waste recycling specialist invests £6m in second Scottish site creating more than 20 jobs

A Scottish waste recycling specialist is investing £6 million in a second plant, creating more than 20 jobs, to serve construction sites and housing developments to the west of the Central Belt.

Over the past five years, Brewster Brothers has diverted more than one million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation (CDE) waste from landfill and created more than 750,000 tonnes of recycled aggregates with a carbon saving of some 20,000 tonnes. Due to the success of its Livingston site and as part of a £7m expansion programme, the company is investing £6m in a second state-of-the-art “wash plant”, near Cumbernauld, capable of recycling a further 300,000 tonnes of CDE waste per year for re-use in the building trade. The new plant will serve construction sites, housing and utilities developments in the western Central Belt.

Bosses said the expansion reflected the growing recognition within the construction industry of the need to meet sustainability targets and adopt circular business models. The industry generates about 50 per cent of Scotland’s waste, while being responsible for 40 per cent of the nation’s carbon emissions and 50 per cent of its natural resource consumption, the firm noted. Recycling CDE waste through Brewster Brothers’ wash plant is said to recover 100 per cent of the soil, sand, gravel and stone, which are reprocessed into high-value products for reuse.

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A lease has been signed to redevelop the derelict Gartshore brickworks near Cumbernauld, with the regenerated site set to open for tipping of soil and rubble shortly. It will be fully operational by the autumn, with an uplift of 22 new members of staff supported by the Green Jobs Fund. The Livingston plant, which currently employs 39 people, will continue to provide waste management services and recycled aggregates to businesses in Edinburgh and the Lothians. As part of the group’s commitment to the Gartshore site, the old bing of colliery waste will be recycled and the area will be turned into a country park for the local community, helping to promote biodiversity as well as providing new recreational spaces.

Managing director Scott Brewster set up the sustainable resource management business in 2017 alongside his father, Alex Brewster, with recycling and reuse of aggregates its sole purpose. Brewster Brothers has been a family-run business for almost 50 years and has traditionally been involved in farming.

Scott Brewster said: “Construction is an important driver of the Scottish economy and because of that, there is a growing imperative to reduce the waste generated and improve the environmental impact of new building developments and infrastructure projects. With the plant we have it is possible to turn CDE waste into quality aggregates for reuse, diverting tonnes of waste from landfill and providing a valuable flow of resources when supplies are increasingly under pressure. By investing in a second site we will be able to service 44 per cent of the Scottish construction market, while keeping our own carbon footprint to a minimum. We are a business dedicated to waste recycling and reuse and want to work in partnership with contractors to help them reach their sustainability goals.”

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