Eighties rock star Kim Wilde has started a recycling revolution based in Ford. The singer turned gardening expert and author officially opened the materials recycling facility on the village's former airfield. Her visit yesterday enabled her to see one of the country's most advanced waste reduction operations in action.
The facility's modern machinery sorts the wide variety of products left in kerbside recycling bins throughout West Sussex. It is operated by Viridor on behalf of West Sussex County Council and has the capacity to sift through 100,000 tonnes of mixed recyclable materials collected from all county households a year, but will initially handle 65,000 tonnes.
Derek Whittington, the county council's cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: "This new centre has massive environmental benefits and will really help to reduce the amount we have to pay on landfill taxes, which will reduce the pressure on council tax."
The state-of-the-art building greatly reduces the amount of miles recycled rubbish travels once it leaves the doorstep collection bins. It has been working for a few months to enable households across the Arun district to be able to recycle more rubbish in their bins. This has already pushed recycling rates to an unprecedented 40 per cent of household waste.
"In the past, recyclable items, including bottles, plastic, card, paper and cans were shipped out to other sorting centres around the UK," Cllr Whittington said. "Now it will all be sorted at Ford, before being sent to companies who will process materials into new products such as plastic bottles into clothes. The centre will use the latest recycling technology to sort different types of materials quickly, efficiently and to high-quality standards."
All vehicles using the facility will follow a traffic routing plan agreed with the county council's planning services.
This will ensure lorries avoid the sensitive routes in the area, including Ford Road to Arundel, Ford Lane and the local villages.