Local metal recycling factory expanding

Our local aluminium recycling plant (just up the road in Latchford, Cheshire) where all the aluminium cans, aerosols and foil you put out for our recycling collections end up are investing £6 million to expand their site and create 30 new jobs.

Novelis a world leading aluminium company is increasing the plant’s capacity by more than a third, creating more than 30 new full-time roles to become Europe’s largest closed-loop recycling operation for aluminium rolled products. Their investment in equipment includes a dedicated furnace, upgraded casting system, magnetic separation and handling equipment, as well as environmental controls.

Erwin Mayr, President of Novelis Europe, said: “Responding to the realities of our increasingly resource constrained world and demands for a more sustainable economy, Novelis is transforming its business model to be largely based on closed-loop recycling.

The Cheshire site already employs around 135 people (within commutable distance from Shropshire) and processes 160,000 tonnes of aluminium each year.  With the new investment their recycling capacity will increase to 220,000 tonnes.  During the recycling process, the scrap aluminium (including that put out by residents in Shropshire) is re-melted and cast into huge 12 tonne ‘ingots’ which are then used primarily in the beverage can making industry in the UK.  This process uses 95% less energy compared to make aluminium from scratch!

However much of the extra capacity will go towards growing demands for aluminium used in car production, particularly from local manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover.  JLR realise the benefits of using lightweight aluminium in terms of delivering fuel efficiency, energy and carbon savings and added value across their product range. 

It all goes to show the importance of simply putting more metal cans, tins, foil and aerosols in your recycling box instead of in your general rubbish bin.  Ultimately none of this investment and growth is possible if this valuable material ends up in your general rubbish going to landfill.  Your metals really do matter - not only do you help improve your local environment by recycling and creating local jobs at the collection and haulage end of the operation, but your actions are helping to reduce energy costs for our local manufacturing companies which is creating a resurgance in British manufacturing and creating more jobs in the reprocessing and product end of the chain too.  


James Thompson James Thompson

Waste Prevention Officer, Waste Management, Shropshire Council

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