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Teesside plastic plant set to open

Sims Recycling Solutions have confirmed that its new plastics recycling plant on Teesside is expected to begin full operations in May.

Reports emerged last week that the company might hold back the start of full-time operations at the Billingham plastics facility due to recruitment issues. The company currently employs 50 people at its fridge recycling plant on the same site, but was encountering issues finding suitably skilled staff. The new development is scheduled to double the workforce in Billingham to 105.

According to Derek Campbell, Commercial Manager for Sims: “Some staff are now in place, and we expect to have everyone else as we progress from testing the plant.” Sims has developed specialist plastic separation technology, to extract individual streams of polymers from waste electronics and scrap vehicles, in the process removing metal contaminations.

Campbell added: “It does not look like energy recovery using plastics from end-of-life vehicles will count towards the European target of 95 per cent by 2015. This plant provides a way of recycling polymers, which is also going to be better for the environment as well.”

The company plans to channel plastics from all its UK sites processing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to the Billingham site, as well as plastics resulting from vehicle dismantling. At full capacity the plant is expected to annually produce 75,000 tonnes of polymers for remanufacturing.