Flagship urban waste facility unveiled in London

The Southwark Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF), which was built by VolkerFitzpatrick in conjunction with specialist technology contractors for clients, Veolia Environmental Services and Southwark Council, has been officially opened in South London.

Southwark IMWF is the UK's first large-scale inner-city integrated waste management facility, forms part of a 25-year PFI initiative between Southwark Council and Veolia Environmental Services and will play a key role in improving recycling rates and reducing the impact the borough's waste has on the environment.

The Opening was led by the CEO of Veolia Environmental Services (UK), Jean-Dominique Mallet, also in attendance was Southwark Council leader, Peter John, environmentalist, Kate Humble and representatives from VolkerFitzpatrick.

The facility comprises a 85,000 tonnes per annum materials recovery facility (MRF) and a 87,500 tonnes per annum mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant. It also features an on-site waste transfer station and a household reuse and recycling centre, accessible to the public.

The MRF is able to process a wide range of materials, including glass and tetra paks while the MBT plant will produce recyclables and solid recovered fuels from residual waste.

Chris Sims, project manager at VolkerFitzpatrick, said: "This is a technologically advanced facility and the project team are extremely proud of what has been achieved at this site in terms of sustainable innovations and advancements. As the waste sector is a key focus for VolkerFitzpatrick, the success of this project has proven our capabilities and working with such respected clients in the sector we have developed on these capabilities even further."

Jean-Dominique Mallet, CEO of Veolia Environmental Services, said: "The paramount importance we attach to health and safety has been evident throughout the construction of the Southwark Integrated Waste Management facility and is clearly shared by our partners, VolkerFitzpatrick.

"From conception to completion, this was the fastest PFI process we've ever seen. The MRF is capable of sorting one of the widest range of household materials in the country, and contains in-built flexibility to take into account future developments in packaging."

"We believe it's the future of urban integrated waste management - it is a facility for the community that will reduce road miles and environmental impact."

In officially declaring the plant open, Southwark Council leader Peter John who spoke of his pride in seeing the project reach completion, said: "Other council leaders are incredibly jealous of what we have here. With this facility, I am confident we will double our recycling rates and reduce our carbon emissions."

Kate Humble, who spoke of her enthusiasm for such initiatives, said: "This facility has given me tremendous heart; it is playing a vital part in preserving our natural environments and habitats. The way the waste is being treated here is quite exceptional."