Recyling firm to showcase pioneering black-bag waste treatment facility

A GOVERNMENT minister will visit the world's first commercial-scale "autoclave" waste treatment facility, located in South Yorkshire, on a fact-finding mission on the growth of the area's low carbon economy.

Charles Hendry, minister for energy and climate change, will talk to directors at Rotherham-based Sterecycle about their patented steam-processing method to treat household and commercial black-bag waste, which can reduce the amount going to landfill by up to 70 per cent.

The company is helping local authorities and businesses to increase recycling performance. It employs 41 people, though this will increase to 57 next year when the plant's expansion is complete.

Tom Shields, chief executive, said: "Autoclaving as a waste treatment process is safe, cheap to build and our experience to date is that planning permission can be achieved within six months. And it delivers high rates of resource recovery."

He added: "The demand has been so high that we're increasing the Rotherham plant's capacity from 100,000 tonnes per annum to 240,000 tonnes per annum so that we can continue to help drive down the amount of waste going to Yorkshire landfills."

Sterecycle has won permission for an onsite biomass plant.