Neath Port Talbot Council is making big changes at its waste facility at Crymlyn Burrows to meet modern requirements.
For many years the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre, as it was known, was used by a Neath Port Talbot Council owned private company to turn black bag and wheeled bin waste into a fossil fuel substitute as part of an energy-from-waste scheme.
But now, 20 years after the facility was built, there has been a big shift in national policy on waste with Wales becoming a world leader in recycling.
And locally, Neath Port Talbot residents have responded magnificently, achieving more than 67.56% of diversion from landfill last year, the eighth best recycling authority out of the 22 councils in Wales.
As a result, Neath Port Talbot Council has regained operational management of the facility, is winding up the former arms-length company which ran the plant, and the inside of the main building is to be redeveloped by local contractors Morganstone to make it primarily a recycling centre.
So it’s down with the big 40 metre chimney and out with the old mothballed energy-from-waste machinery and composting tunnels, and in with new internal drop-off facilities for recyclables along with associated sorting and bulking facilities plus a new air management system.
The revised facility will still be an energy centre of sort, in that a new solar roof to be installed across the whole of the facility will produce green energy to power the plant.
Morganstone workers are about to start on the remodelling work, and completion of the new look centre is expected in early 2023. SLR Consulting is acting as Designer and Technical Consultant for the project.
Cllr Mike Harvey, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering said: “Thanks to the much appreciated efforts of our residents we’ve outgrown our original recycling building and need a bigger and better facility to deal with all the recycling material coming in.
“This project will help us deal efficiently with all the recyclables residents are producing, and help us get quality streams of recyclables to re-processors who want to use them.
“Increasing capacity like this will help us achieve the current 70% national recycling target and beyond, as we all move towards zero residual waste in 2050. We are also thankful for the financial assistance being provided by Welsh Government regarding the new solar roof and recycling equipment.”
Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Cllr Ted Latham added: “It’s time for the past to make way for the future as we move forward towards more sustainable waste management practices, and I’m very pleased my administration has been able to bring forward this important project.”