A breakthrough in glass recycling - Blog

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Monday 8th January 2018

This week we’ve been exploring a new specialist glass recycling facility. Here’s what we discovered… 

Maximising the environmental value of your recycling is of prime importance to us. We therefore choose the best recycling plants in the UK and Europe, who can turn your materials back into high-quality products. 

Enter URM (United Resource Management). They have recently invested £20 million in a new glass recycling facility at Tilbury dock. The facility is close to our recycling hub in Purfleet (only 10 miles away!), which is great as it keeps road miles down, limiting transport costs and emissions. We now deliver all our mixed glass here. 

The new facility was built to better handle the decline in the quality of waste glass supply. This decline has occurred because more frequently people are not separating their glass at source. “Separating at source” means disposing of waste glass in its own bin, rather than alongside other materials such as cans and plastics. The problem with this change in collection method is the glass loses its quality, it gets contaminated by the other materials it is mixed in with. This in turn reduces its value and limits the environmental benefits of recycling. Therefore, we always ask our customers to separate glass. 

URM spotted the increase in this lower quality supply, and designed a facility with the technology to recover this glass as well. They use sophisticated optical and mechanical processes to ensure that cullet (waste glass) of the highest quality is available for re-processing. 

Mark Wilson the Executive Director said: “What we want to see is a real emphasis on keeping British glass in Britain, and ensuring it is presented for re-melt rather than export or aggregate and therefore it’s a closed loop cycle that becomes a sustainable source of material and ensures that our manufacturing base is sustained well into the future.”

We are pleased to be working with a partner creating a circular economy and aiming to keep glass in Britain. 

URM's new facility at Tilbury Dock

Jessica Parrilla

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