Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead officially opened a new £1.3 million expansion at a Buchan organic recycling plant.
Richard Lochhead MSP was at New Deer yesterday (Monday) to tour the facility, which is now the largest Vertical Composting Unit (VCU) site in Europe and joint largest in the world with a site in Canada following the recent expansion.
The business, managed by brothers Grant and Gregor Keenan, transforms food and garden waste into British Standard Industry accredited compost at the award-winning £5m facility.
Keenan Recycling secured a percentage of funding for the expansion from the Scottish Government to further develop the facility as part of the Zero Waste Plan, which sets out targets to tackle the near 20 million tonnes of waste produced in Scotland every year. The government plans to introduce legislation requiring mandatory food waste collections by 2013.
The site previously hosted 12 VCUs, but the expansion has seen the addition of a further six, enabling Keenan Recycling to process an extra 15,000 tonnes of waste per year.
The firm currently processes in excess of 70,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, 30,000 of which is processed through the VCUs.
Talkign after hsi tour of the plant, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “After the recent expansion, Keenan Recycling has firmly placed itself at the forefront of modern waste management - where waste is a resource, something of value, rather than a problem.
“A zero waste Scotland offers significant economic and environmental opportunities, and having Europe’s largest vertical composting unit (VCU) - joint largest in the world - on our doorstep is proof of that.
“Scottish households throw out 570,000 tonnes of food a year, and we want to help local authorities collect this waste effectively through our £4million food waste programme.
“Of course, preventing food waste in the first place is the best action - the average household throws out a staggering £430 of edible food every year. Tackling wasteful behaviour is something we can all do to help Scotland’s zero waste efforts.”
Managing director of Keenan Recycling, Grant Keenan, said: “The support from Zero Waste Scotland has been critical in the development of our business both in terms of scale and timing.
“The company has been able to develop more rapidly, increase capacity and provide a sustainable outlet for three local authorities and numerous businesses. In 2012/13 we are looking to expand our services into other areas including Inverness and Dundee.”