Coventry Materials Recycling Facility gets green light at planning

Coventry City Council has approved the planning application for a regional Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) which will be able to treat up to 175,000 tonnes of recyclate a year.

Cllr Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services, “This is an exciting opportunity for Coventry and the development of this facility is great news for all those involved in the project.

“The benefits of it include job creation, improvements to the local environment and of course we hope this new facility will allow each partner involved in the project to improve their recycling performance.”

Over the last 15 months, Coventry City Council, as lead authority, has undertaken competitive dialogue with bidders for the selection of a process equipment provider and contractor for the ground works and building construction.  

Following a short period of fine-tuning bringing together preferred bidders the contact award is expected in April with work due to start on site shortly after.

It is great that we have hit another significant milestone, keeping us on programme to achieve a fully operational facility by Summer 2023

Richard Dobbs, Manging Director and Chair of the Board said: “It is great that we have hit another significant milestone, keeping us on programme to achieve a fully operational facility by Summer 2023.

“We are also pleased to announce today the appointment of Machinex as our Preferred Bidder for the process equipment. Next step is the appointment of the civils contractors, then work can really get underway.”

The MRF will be operated by Sherbourne Recycling Limited; the wholly owned Local Authority company being established to manage the facility.

The eight Partner Councils behind Sherbourne Recycling, who are all investing the capital to build the new facility, include Coventry City Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Stratford District Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Walsall Council and Warwick District Council, who joined the Project in November.


Machinex’s design utilises 14 sorting robots and 14 optical sorters, within an overall solution to provide, what is certainly a highly automated and innovative state-of-the-art facility. This will be the most advanced of its kind within the UK and potentially one of the most advanced MRF’s around the world.

The system will be able to process a throughput of 47.5 tonnes per hour of mixed dry recyclables with an extremely minimised level of manpower of only five manual sorters.

‘’This will be a great achievement for Machinex; the culmination of years of research, development, and hard work in incorporating artificial intelligence at the heart of our sorting solutions. We will deliver the MRF of the Future – a game changer and a loud statement within the market ‘’, comments Jonathan Ménard, Executive VP of Sales and Strategic Positioning at Machinex.

This technologically advanced solution will mean the Coventry MRF will be able to deliver higher purity levels of recyclate, while retaining the flexibility to ensure it can react to legislation and consumer habits and the introduction of new and changing material steams.

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services added: “This facility looks set to be really impressive – a real leader in the UK and in the short term it’s going to help us make sure our waste and recycling service is as efficient as it can be. In the long term, it’s going to enable us to raise our recycling rates.

“This isn’t just a short-term investment, it’s a long-term investment to ensure a greener future for our city.”

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