In pioneering renewable energy and creating over 260 jobs for the local Londoners Mick Crossan’s Powerday is both ethical and successful
The Irish World’s Noel Mullen spent a day at Powerday’s new £10m state-of-the-art recycling facility in Enfield.
Empty plastic bottles, crumbling plasterboard slabs, short wood planks and even some discarded junk mail are some of the scrap we watch being fed into Powerday’s new £10 million facility in Enfield, which opened last Friday.
What comes out the other side is only a little short of miraculous. The “residual material” is transformed into a haystack-sized block of “high quality recyclable material” ready to ship to power stations as an alternative to coal.
For those climate-change-conscious happy to see waste turn into renewable fuel, this new addition to Powerday’s nine-acre recycling site in Willesden is welcome news indeed.
After all, if it wasn’t for plants such as these, where would the waste go? Fifteen million tonnes of waste are produced each year in London; half of which is made up of construction, demolition and commercial waste. Which just happens to be Powerday’s speciality.
As Powerday Managing Director Mark Bensted explains, the waste they convert “is no use to either man nor beast and would ultimately have gone into a landfill site.”
Their Old Oaks Siding’s facility in Willesden is able to process 1.6m tonnes of waste; with this further processing plant, they have added 330,000 tonnes to their capacity. “We do feel we are on the side of the angels here,” Bensted continues.
“We’ve definitely got the moral high ground and we’re very proud of this development.” In a presentation at the official opening, Powerday Chairman Mick Crossan thanked all the fellow Irishowned companies who worked with Powerday, under the supervision of Commercial Director Jim Craig, to process their idea into a reality.
From Meath-based Turmec Engineering, who partnered in the design of the plant, to Kiernan Structural Steel, Harp Electric and main building contractors 4d Structures. Where the Willesden plant serves as a catchment area for Central London, being only five miles from Oxford Circus, Enfield will look to service the North East of London – from the Olympic zone to Canary Wharf and Camden.
“What we need to do in order to keep London as a competitive leading global city is we need to manage that waste effectively, locally, affordably and to it’s best efforts environmentally,” said guest speaker Andy Richmond from the Greater London Authority.
“Facilities like these are needed in order to do that. I think the key to keeping London’s waste within London is facilities such as these to be good neighbours. And we know that Powerday understand this very well.”
Being good neighbours means Powerday Chairman Mick Crossan is determined to recruit locals into his £40m annual business. “We are a family business with an ethos of giving back and are keen to recruit from the local Enfield community of which we are a part.”
The company already employs over 200 people across their Willesden site and their transfer station in Brixton. The plant at Enfield will create up to 60 more jobs.
“We will be looking for people to fill a variety of roles including site management, drivers, waste operatives and administrative staff,” Crossan added.
“We have many exciting projects in the pipeline that will keep us at the forefront of the industry and I’m very proud of that.”
Crossan extended his thanks to Councillor Alan Sitkin, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, for their assistance in the construction of the plant, but American-born Sitkin was quick to return the compliment.
“You’re thanking Enfield Council for it’s support, in fact it’s the council who would like to thank you for your support. Enfield has an old proud industrial history that kind of got lost for a while and we’re looking to rebuild it, and Powerday fits into it entirely.”
“It’s not so much a question of thanking one another as a question of looking forward to future years of happy co-operation,” Cllr Sitkin said.
It’s no surprise Sitkin is happy to have Powerday active in his borough. Everywhere the company has gone, it has lent a hand to local communities.
Sports fans will know them as principal sponsor of London Irish Rugby, and Tir Chonaill Gaels Gaelic Football Club and the London Amateur Boxing Association have also been beneficiaries.
“By recruiting locally [Powerday] are putting cash into the pockets of residents to spend within the borough so everyone benefits. Cllr Sitkin added. “Powerday should be congratulated.”