A new £2million waste recycling plant has officially opened in Eversley.
Sir Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot, cut the ribbon for the Waste Transfer Facility at R Collards at the launch ceremony on Friday (March 7).
Made out of recycled materials itself, the indoor centre will process waste, known as secondary aggregate materials, from the Eversley Haulage Park in Brickhouse Hill.
Waste management company R Collard was given permission to boost production at the site last month and the changes will mean that up to 250,000 tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste can be processed each year, instead of the previous limit of 50,000 tonnes.
Sir Gerald described the facility as a “fantastic” and an “exciting initiative”.
“I think it demonstrates the power of the private sector to take the initiative, we cannot afford to go on stuffing the countryside with landfill," he said. “We generate here in Hampshire something like 800,000 tonnes of household waste every year and 15 years ago 83% went into landfill, last year 7.7% went into landfill.
“So recycling has an important part to play and it also generates income.”
The site is owned by racing driver Robert Collard, best known for competing in the British Touring Car Championship.
This is the biggest single investment the company has seen since it’s investiture nearly two decades ago and the company motto - recycling the past for the future - remains even stronger.
Family-man Mr Collard, who has two boys aged 14 and 17, said: “It has always been part of my dream and part of my vision when I started my company 20 years ago to build it into a company that it is now with the professional team of managers we have at R Collard it is a great pleasure to see everybody enjoy some of the success we have.
“We have a company that is employing 140 people, turning over £16m a year.”
The facility was created by manufacturing company BlueMAC Ltd in conjunction with the Doppstadt shredding business.
The gravel and mineral plant was given the thumbs up by Hampshire County Council’s regulatory committee on February 12.
However, the proposal did see some objection from community groups including Eversley Parish Council.
Philip Todd, chairman of the parish council, said a five-fold increase in heavy goods vehicles associated with this recycling operation would impact on the "quality of life of residents" due to the noise of traffic, safety of pedestrians and impact on conservation areas and listed buildings.