WORK is about to start to make a South Tyneside waste recycling plant fit for purpose for decades to come.
South Tyneside Council’s Middlefields Waste Transfer Station is 42 years old and is undergoing a £3.7m refit, involving improvements to its electrical and water systems.
The transfer station in Throckley Way, South Shields, was built in 1970 to house a baling plant for newspapers collected from borough homes.
When that service ceased in 1981, the building was stripped of equipment and used for storage and vehicle garaging for a period.
In 1987, it was adapted for the installation of a refuse baling press – to replace the life-expired Middlefields incinerator.
The main changes will be to the interior of the building, with the older shed being used for residual waste, and the newer shed for recycling.
The work, which will include two new reception halls, is expected to be completed by November.
All users of the facility will be kept fully informed with regard to any contingency arrangements, which are put in place to ensure the continuity of service.
Meanwhile, a new energy from waste plant – to which South Tyneside’s waste will be sent – is nearing completion in Billingham, Teesside.
It is thought that “testing” will begin at the new plant from July and it will be completed and commissioned by January 2014.
Whereas the present waste transfer station has one weighbridge, the refurbished facility will have two.
A report on the refit at Middlefields will be considered by members of the council’s place committee on Tuesday, March 26.