A SCOTTISH company that is proving it possible to recycle hundreds of thousands of tonnes of construction waste and divert it from landfill is opening a second recycling plant near Cumbernauld. Over the past five years, Brewster Brothers has diverted over 1 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation (CDE) waste from landfill and created more than 750,000 tonnes of recycled aggregates with a carbon saving of 50,000 tonnes.
Due to that success at its Livingston site and as part of a £7m expansion programme, the company is investing £6m in a second state-of-the-art wash plant capable of recycling a further 300,000 tonnes of CDE waste per year for re-use in the building trade. The new plant will serve construction sites, housing and utilities developments in the Western Central Belt, keeping the transport impact to a minimum by implementing a local approach to its services.
The expansion of Brewster Brothers reflects the growing recognition within the construction industry of the need to meet sustainability targets and adopt circular business models. The industry generates 50% of Scotland’s waste, while is responsible for 40% of Scotland’s carbon emissions and 50% of Scotland’s natural resource consumption. Recycling CDE waste through Brewster Brothers’ wash plant recovers 100% of the soil, sand, gravel, and stone, which are reprocessed into high-value products for reuse.
Having signed a lease to redevelop the derelict Gartshore brickworks near Cumbernauld, the regenerated site is expected to be open for tipping of soil and rubble by the end of the year and fully operational by Autumn 2023, with an uplift of 22 new members of staff supported by the Green Jobs Fund. The Livingston plant, which currently employs 39, will continue to provide environmentally conscious waste management services and quality recycled aggregates to businesses in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
As part of Brewster Brothers commitment to the Gartshore site, the old bing of colliery waste will be recycled, and the area will be turned into a country park for the local community, helping to promote biodiversity as well as provide new recreational spaces.
Scott Brewster, the managing director of Brewster Brothers, set up the sustainable resource management business in 2017 with recycling and reuse of aggregates its sole purpose. He said:
“Construction is an important driver of the Scottish economy and because of that, there is a growing imperative to reduce the waste generated and improve the environmental impact of new building developments and infrastructure projects. With the plant we have it is possible to turn CDE waste into quality aggregates for reuse, diverting tonnes of waste from landfill and providing a valuable flow of resources when supplies are increasingly under pressure.
“By investing in a second site at Gartshore, we will be able to service 44% of the Scottish construction market, while keeping our own carbon footprint to a minimum. We are a business dedicated to waste recycling and reuse and want to work in partnership with contractors to help them reach their sustainability goals.”
“Scotland has big ambitions for transitioning to a circular economy and increasing the number of green jobs. Ours is both an innovative and a pragmatic approach to working with one of the country’s biggest generators of waste to improve environmental practice and raise awareness of the sustainable options available.”