60 jobs created in £7.7m DRS project in Aberdeen - Biffa
Bottles on shelves

60 jobs created in £7.7m DRS project in Aberdeen

7 Feb 2023
2 mins
Site will handle some of the billions of drinks containers collected through the scheme
Industry News

Up to 60 jobs are being created in Aberdeen in a multi-million-pound project that will see the city play a pivotal role in Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

As Circularity Scotland’s official logistics service partner to DRS, Biffa is investing £7.7 million in the transformation of a former engineering depot on the Badentoy Industrial Estate into a state-of-the-art recycling centre.

Following the launch of DRS this summer, the Portlethen site will form part of a network of Biffa-run facilities across Scotland that will count, sort and bale billions of drinks containers collected through the scheme each year by the waste management company. The material will then be sold to be recycled back into brand new bottles and cans.

Work on the Aberdeen site started earlier this month, with equipment due to be installed from April. Work is expected to be completed by May ahead of the launch of DRS in August. We have also invested £6 million to transform a former parcel depot in Motherwell which will create 140 jobs near Glasgow.

Around 60 jobs will be created at the new Biffa facility, from multi-skilled operatives and drivers, to administrators, supervisors and managers. Recruitment for managerial positions has already started, with other roles due to be advertised from March.

Gavin Money, Biffa’s DRS Operations Director, said: “Working closely with the scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland, we’re progressing well with the exciting and ambitious plans for the launch of DRS in Scotland, which will see new recycling infrastructure developed across the country.

“Aberdeen will play a key role as a regional collection and counting hub, handling some of the billions of plastic, glass and metal drinks containers collected each year from across Scotland.”

David Harris, Circularity Scotland Chief Executive, said: “The Deposit Return Scheme will transform how Scotland recycles, preventing billions of bottles and cans each year from ending up as waste and helping protect our environment for generations to come. 

“The Porthleven site will be the first of several centres across Scotland that will support local economies and play a central role in delivering this ground-breaking initiative. The development of the site is further evidence of the progress being made as we prepare for the scheme to go live in August.”

DRS is a fundamental part of Scotland’s efforts to tackle climate change and create a circular economy by reducing waste. DRS aims to ensure that at least 90% of recyclable drinks containers are captured and prevented from becoming waste.

From August 16, all drinks producers and everyone selling single-use drinks containers is required to take part in the Deposit Return Scheme. A refundable 20p deposit will apply to all single-use PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass drinks containers ranging in size from 50ml to three-litres.

People will be able to return their bottles and cans to thousands of shops across Scotland. Some venues will accept items over the counter, while larger stores, shopping centres and transport hubs will operate automatic collection points known as reverse vending machines.

Circularity Scotland is also working with Biffa to explore the opportunity to build a PET recycling plant in Scotland to support the scheme and deliver further employment opportunities.