Sterecycle raises £5.1m in equity finance from investors

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Sterecycle, a waste treatment and renewable power company, has raised £5.1m in equity finance from four investors.

According to a statement, the investment will fund the next expansion phase of Sterecycle’s Rotherham plant, which will increase capacity from 100,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 175,000 tpa by the third quarter of 2012.

New investor Finance Yorkshire led the round, investing £1.25m. A second investor, German businessman Lars Windhorst, and existing investors, including Aston Hill Financial from Canada, provided the remaining £3.85m.

Sterecycle chief executive officer Tom Shields said: ‘This funding means we’ll be able to install the first of our new waste-processing autoclaves and take the capacity of the plant up to 175,000 tonnes of waste per annum. This added capacity will take us to around break-even for the group as a whole and increase landfill diversion.

‘Following that, we’ll focus on securing finance for a second new autoclave and finishing the expansion works at Rotherham. We hope to do this in early 2013 — we’ll then be able to process more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per annum. Our contracts with five of the local authorities in the South Yorkshire region, together with commercial and trade waste sources, will supply us with enough waste to fill this capacity.’

Sterecycle currently diverts around 65 per cent of waste from landfill by ‘steam processing’ black-bag household and trade waste.

The process recovers recyclable materials and turns the food and paper waste into a biomass-rich soil-like substance called Sterefibre.

According to Sterecycle, Sterefibre is approved as a soil improver for non-agricultural applications and is being used to grow biofuel crops. It can also be used to generate power in biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plants and for biogas production in anaerobic digestion plants.