£2m recycling plant for Washington

(Left to right) Timberpak operations director Mark Hayton with Sunderland Mayor Councillor Norma Wright and Bernd Steinlechner, finance director at Egger UK Ltd.

A high-tech wood recycling plant has opened in Washington to process waste wood, which would otherwise go straight to landfill.

The new £2 million Timberpak site is one of the most advanced in the region, and after the old furniture, pallets and other waste have been processed, the chips will go to eggr UK’s chipboard factory in Hexham.

The new factory has created a further 10 jobs, and has been given Environment Agency accreditation and a state of the art water mister to minimise airborne dust.

Timberpak operations director Mark Hayton said: “This is an important day for use and finally realises our ambition to have a site serving Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside and Durham.

“Wood is too precious a natural resource just to be put in a large hole in the ground. By recycling it here in Washington and then supplying it to Egger in Hexham to turn into products with a secondary lifespan of ten, 20 or more years is not just environmentally friendly but common sense.”

This facility will now help companies reduce the amount of waste on which they are taxed, as well as helping local authorities meet recycling targets. It will also provide Egger with an alternative resource to virgin wood, which is increasingly in short supply as it is being used increasingly in the biomass power industry.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability, Councillor Tom Wright, added: “We obviously welcome such a fantastic commercial development based here in our city at a time when we are all working so hard together to increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of domestic and commercial waste going to landfill.

“Only through working together in partnership will we be able to achieve our aim of Sunderland becoming a truly sustainable city.”  

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