£100 million lift for West Norfolk waste plan

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Bosses of the company behind a plan to recycle tens of thousands of tonnes of West Norfolk’s waste have secured £100 million of funding to build a plant in the borough.

Officials from Material Works, who made the announcement yesterday, say their facility will create 200 new jobs and recycle more than 90 per cent of the material that comes to it.

The company, which signed a contract with West Norfolk Council to process its waste in December 2012, now plans to submit a planning application to Norfolk County Council by the spring.

And managers hope to start building work this summer if planning consent is granted.

West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney said: “It’s a great step forward. I’m really pleased Material Works have managed to secure the funding.”

He said, if it progressed, the project would provide a much cheaper and more acceptable alternative for dealing with the area’s waste.

He added: “Technology must be given time to deal with this and to crash ahead with a highly expensive incineration scheme is crazy.”

Initially, the Material Works plant would treat around 30,000 tonnes of black bin waste plus 5,000 tonnes of food waste per year, collected within the borough, plus 35,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste.

The waste would be shredded, sterilised and mixed with additional plastics and fibres to form a material known as omnicite, which is used to make a range of building products and other materials.

Managing director Robert Billson said: “We are now set to move this ground-breaking project forward. All the funding from major investors is in place and a highly suitable location has been identified.”

He said their preferred site is in West Norfolk, but details would only be announced once agreements have been signed.

The company says it also has the funding for up to three other similar plants in Norfolk and is inviting interest from other councils.