A FAMILY-RUN minerals processing company has revealed plans to revolutionise the recycling industry after developing a £1.2m system.

Derek Parnaby Cyclones International, in Chilton, near Ferryhill, County Durham, has designed a process to sort and clean heavily contaminated waste glass.

Bosses say the system allows manufacturers to re-use more glass, helping firms increase turnover and profits ahead of new stricter EU regulations.

The company, founded in the 1960s, employs 60 workers and designs and makes equipment to wash, separate and recycle materials including coal, copper and oil.

Its latest method, known as the glass density separation system, was designed by 26-year-old co-owner Ben Parnaby.

Mr Parnaby said the equipment separates glass particles from residual material remaining after sorting broken glass and re-usable materials from domestic waste.

He said: “We’ve been refining the process and developing the technology over the last 12 months and the results have proved excellent and exceeded our expectations.

“The process hugely increases the efficiency of the separation and cleaning of the materials, which also vastly improves further recycling processes downstream.

“The project has attracted the attention of industry leaders from around the UK who are now looking at how they can adopt the same methods.”

The system has been shortlisted for an innovation honour at the MRW National Recycling Awards later this year.

Mr Parnaby, who is the grandson of founder Derek Parnaby, added: “We're talking to several companies who have large-scale requirements in this field and we are confident we'll see an increase in demand over the coming months.

“To be shortlisted for the award is validation we have hit on a winning method.

“We have been operating in the North-East for about 50 years, an area that has a long history of innovation and skills, and as a family and as a company we are proud to be continuing that tradition.”

Derek Parnaby's equipment is also used for separating demolition waste and recycling plastics and metals, with customers across countries such as China, Germany, India and the US.