Plans approved for new recycling facility to help green revolution in South Tyneside

A new recycling facility aiming to boost South Tyneside Council’s green credentials has been given the go-ahead.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Architects' image of the planned new recycling building, which would be used to store and sort materials collected from blue recycling bins across the borough, before being transported onward for processing.

Earlier this year, town hall bosses revealed plans for a new sorting warehouse at their Middlefields Depot in a bid to cut costs and boost recycling rates.

Blue bin household waste recycling is currently taken to Gateshead for sorting and decontamination before being sent on for disposal.

The new transfer station will allow material to be sorted and stored in South Tyneside, improving quality before onward processing.

Lead member for area management and community safety on the council, Coun Joan Atkinson

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When operational, it will provide a local drop-off point for up to 20,000 tonnes of material every year.

Council bosses have said the plans will help cut fuel costs, tackle carbon emissions and meet climate targets.

At a meeting of the authority’s planning committee the plans were given the go-ahead.

Councillors were told the changes would “compliment and improve” the borough’s existing waste service.

Lead member for area management and community safety on the council, Joan Atkinson, said she was “delighted” with the decision.

Speaking after the meeting, she said: “The facility will bring a number of benefits including cutting vehicle emissions by 400 tonnes and saving 140,000 litres of fuel a year.

“It will also improve quality and reduce contamination before onward processing.

“Already, less than 1% of South Tyneside’s waste is sent to landfill – a reduction from 66% in 2010 – but the new local sorting facility will allow us to further reduce our impact on the environment.

“South Tyneside Council is striving to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and initiatives such as this can help us ensure we fulfil that commitment.”

Under approved plans, the transfer station will use solar panels in the roof space and collected rainwater as a water supply for mechanical brushes.

The facility aims to save around £275,000 in staffing and transport costs, as well as fines incurred because of contamination.

Hall Construction Services have been selected to build the facility with work due to start this year.

South Tyneside Council will also remain in the Strategic Waste Partnership with Gateshead and Sunderland Councils.