Kim Wilde, 80s rock star and now a renowned gardening expert and author, will formally open the West Sussex County Council flagship plant that is revolutionising the way recycled rubbish is being handled in the county.
Called a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), the plant, which is at Ford Airfield near Arundel, sorts the wide variety of products left in kerbside recycling bins throughout West Sussex. It is one of the most advanced in the UK.
The official opening is taking place on Wednesday July 15, starting at 10.30. It will include a detailed outline of the operation at Ford, followed by a tour of the plant. Kim Wilde will perform the official opening at about noon.
The MRF is operated by Viridor on behalf of the County Council and has the capacity to sort 100,000 tonnes of mixed recyclable materials collected from all West Sussex households a year, but will initially handle 65,000 tonnes.
This resource is collected from all West Sussex households a year by the Districts and Borough Councils working in partnership with the County Council.
The MRF is the latest step in the ongoing commitment that by working as a partnership, West Sussex local authorities will reduce landfill by being leaders in waste prevention and recycling and use the remaining rubbish as a resource.
Derek Whittington, County Council 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 centre will create jobs and dramatically cut the amount of miles our recycled rubbish travels once it leaves our doorstep collection bins.
"In the past, recyclable items, including bottles, plastic, card, paper and cans were shipped out to other sorting centres around the UK. 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," said Derek.
There is also a dedicated education room and viewing platform designed to show and educate the public about what happens at an MRF.
From September schoolchildren will be able to get first-hand experience of the centre.
The MRF is a key part of Reclaim West Sussex, the 25-year recycling and waste handling contract that is helping the county to reach a target of recycling 45 per cent of household waste by 2015.