A new green technology park to turn millions of tonnes of rubbish into money-spinning products is to be created alongside a giant Leyland recycling plant.
Waste giant Global Renewables says it wants to create a cluster of ‘green’ businesses on land close to the £320m Waste Technology Plant in Farington.
It would see specialist companies located next door to the plant to refine recyclable materials generated by the facility into saleable products.
David Brewer, chief executive of Global Renewables Lancashire, said research was already underway on how plastic, glass and organic waste collected at the plant could be turned into high-quality plastic sheeting, sand used for building and peat.
The creation of the cluster of businesses would create hundreds of new jobs for the area.
Mr Brewer said: “The idea is to create a series of sustainable businesses linked into the plant which would refine and manufacture the material we send out here.
“Currently a lot of that work is being done outside the business and the idea of closing that loop is one we are looking into.
“There are businesses out there in Lancashire which we are keen to harness and the potential spin-offs in terms of jobs and investments are obvious.”
He added that research into manufacturing recycled material was “between six months to a year” from being completed.
But, it has already created prototypes of plastic sheeting capable of being used in bus shelters, plastic kerb stones and created glass capable of being used in golf sand bunkers out of recycled glass.
Mr Brewer said the Leyland plant was also developing technology to use methane gas produced by organic waste collected from thousands of homes across Lancashire into energy.
It will be installing anaerobic digestion technology into the plant which will create enough power to supply 1,000 homes.
County council deputy leader Albert Atkinson said he hoped similar plants could be created around a second plant at Thorton, near Blackpool.
He said: “The idea is we can use these two sites as a catalyst for creating highly-skilled jobs in a sustainable industry.
“Not only would it bring jobs and investment to Farington and Thornton, the council could save money by not sending waste to landfill and creating products we can use out of the rubbish we are recycling.
“We have already shown we can make plastic sheeting for bus shelters and if we can do that cheaper that we can buy it for, that is what we will do.”