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Royal Navy recycling plant launched

1 August 2017
A new greener future has been heralded at Devonport Naval Base with the opening of a waste recycling plant.

Commodore Ian Shipperley, Naval Base Commander, ceremonially opened the plant which is operated by Interserve.

He said, “This project just shows how much can be achieved by our partners all working together.  We have achieved a double, for HMS Drake and for the environment.  The idea is to achieve zero landfill for waste products.  And to this end the plant will be good for the environment and resources by reusing recyclable materials.’’

Mel Gwynne, Soft Services Manager for Interserve at Devonport, began the plant project after being  given a target to increase recycling and to increase waste recovery by re-use, composting and energy from waste alongside the MOD’s strategic target to stop landfill with waste.

This project just shows how much can be achieved by our partners all working together. We have achieved a double, for HMS Drake and for the environment

Commodore Ian Shipperley, Naval Base Commander Devonport

Mel said although the Interserve contract with the MOD had no target in reducing waste, there was a ‘moral responsibility’ to protect the environment.

HMS Drake produced 349 tonnes of waste in the past 12 months, of which 220 tonnes (63%) went to landfill, six tonnes to incineration and 123 tonnes (35 per cent) were recycled.

After six weeks of operating, cardboard, plastic, glass, metal and clothing has been recycled, the latter has gone to the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity, while batteries and food have been saved from landfill.  

A garbage guzzler will also be installed which turns organic waste into compost while a compactor will soon be reducing the size of general non-recyclable waste to cut transport costs to disposal sites.

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