Author: Alex Didcock (Tevi Challenge Network Officer)

Tevi organised a trip to the SUEZ Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Bodmin this week to provide Cornish enterprises the opportunity to learn how Cornwall’s recycled materials are sorted and processed, and join a behind the scenes tour of the facility. The aim of the trip was to gain a better understanding of how recyclable materials are processed by SUEZ within Cornwall and to learn how businesses can improve their recycling and waste disposal systems.

SUEZ established operations in Cornwall in 2006 and, together with Cornwall Council, has since invested over £180 million towards providing Cornwall with a network of modern facilities to process recyclables and dispose of waste. Suez has two MRF facilities in Cornwall in Bodmin and Pool. These facilities sort both household and commercial recyclable materials into pure product bales, which are then sent to facilities within the UK for further processing. Last year 33,400 tonnes of recycled materials were processed at Bodmin MRF, with less than 0.05% of this material taken to the Energy Recovery Centre to be disposed of as waste. In 2019, 38% of curbside waste was recycled in Cornwall.

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As a business you can contract commercial waste to be collected and processed by SUEZ, they offer a range of services that are processed locally within Cornwall:

  • Recycling: card, paper, cans, plastic bottles, glass
  • Food waste
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • Hazardous waste
  • Confidential waste
  • Wood
  • Bulk items
  • General waste
  • Green waste

For more information regarding commercial waste disposal please contact SUEZ on 0870 421 1122; or contact Simon Lackner, Field Sales Executive for recycling and recovery, on 07528 971563, or at [email protected]

Cornwall no longer has any landfill sites, as these are the most environmentally impactful and the least sustainable waste disposal option. The last Cornish landfill sites were closed in 2018 and have been replaced by the Energy Recovery Centre in St Dennis. Annually, the Energy Recovery Centre receives  240,000 tonnes of waste, which is used as fuel to generate sustainable energy in the form of electricity. The centre generates 20MW of electricity by processing Cornwall’s waste – equivalent to the power required by 21,000 homes every year. The process works by incinerating the waste, which heats water, producing large quantities of steam, that drive a turbine to generate electricity. The gas emissions produced by this process are cleaned, filtered and are closely monitored by both SUEZ and the Environment Agency. The emissions data is publicly available here: http://www.suezcornwall.co.uk/what-we-do/energy-recovery/emissions-monitoring/. Ash produced by this process is also recycled into construction materials and the water used is reused within the process.

Tevi is also organising a trip to the Energy Recycling Centre on 6th May to discover how SUEZ is converting our waste into electricity. If you are interested in attending in a future Tevi study trip keep an eye on our events page HERE.