Expansion of a pioneering £3 million recycling plant has led to ten new jobs at a growing Bradford waste management company.

Associated Waste Management has added a sorting system to the plant which it opened last year, and which is the first of its kind in the UK.

It enables the firm to recover material such as sheets of paper and plastic film which in the past have been sent to landfill sites because it was considered uneconomic to recover.

The new line is now running over three shifts, separating office waste paper and cardboard and plastic film from waste.

The recycling plant and sorting line has created a total of 57 new jobs at the firm’s Canal Road site.

AWM provides waste management and recycling to companies throughout West and North Yorkshire and on the M62 corridor between Halifax and Selby.

The company, which was formed in 2000 by John Brooksbank, has trebled in size in the past three years from 35 employees to more than 120.

This has been through organic growth and acquisitions of other waste and recycling companies, including Just Recycling Group, Aero Waste Disposal and recently the Thomas Crompton skip hire business in Bradford.

Tim Shapcott, the firm’s business development director, said: “The new sorting line means that we can process more material but will not mean more waste coming to the Canal Road site.

“It is part of an expansion programme that has seen us benefit from economies of scale, increased geographical coverage and a client base of industrial and commercial customers.”

The Bradford-based group has several other locations in West Yorkshire, including Shipley and Armley, Leeds, which is currently being redeveloped, along with satellite operations near York and Selby.

It also operates landfill and quarrying businesses near Bradford and Leeds and. Mr Shapcott said: “AWM is an integrated waste management company providing waste collection and recycling services to industry.

“One side of the business is split into traditional collection activities and we have a fleet of over 40 collection vehicles.

“We also have a mobile compaction service, which deals with lighter industry and also vehicles that cover wheelie bins for the retail and light industry like pubs, shops and small industrial units.”

AWM is looking at being able to turn waste into a flock-like material which could be used as an environmentally-friendly fuel in industries such as cement making.