Essex names winners of £30m organics contract

Essex county council has named the five companies who will transfer, treat and dispose of municipal food and garden waste, as part of a £30 million tender.

The application was submitted by Archers Fields Energy Recovery Ltd and goes before the Development and Regulation committee (picture: Shutterstock)

An award notice was published on 2 February and explains that the contract covers garden and food waste arising in the county of Essex and the unitary authority of Southend-on-Sea.

The tender was split into 16 lots of differing tonnages, 12 of which were awarded to five different contractors. These were Birch Airfield Composting Services, Biogen, East London Biogas, Envar Composting and Hadleigh Salvage Recycling.

The remaining four lots were not awarded, with the notice document adding that “no tenders or requests to participate were received or all were rejected”.

Green waste

Five of the awarded lots were awarded to three companies for the treatment of green waste.

Two lots were awarded to Birch Airfield Composting Services, an Essex-based family company which was set up in 2002. The lots equate to 50,000 tonnes of Essex county council’s green waste to be treated per year, totalling £10,355,504 in value. The contract is set to run from April 2023.

Commenting on the award, the company’s director Angela Morton told letsrecycle.com: “We are delighted to continue working with the Essex county council to provide a service to the local community by recycling their green waste. Birch Airfield Composting Services Ltd is both preventing waste from going to landfill and creating a sustainable compost product, which is used by farmers and gardeners to improve soil health and increasingly used to assist the growth of young trees.”

Another two lots were awarded to Biogen for the treatment 30,000 of green waste, at a combined value of £7,290,676.

Darren Forster, Biogen’s local authority and commercial development manager, said: “Biogen are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Essex county council for the next five years. We look forward to working with Essex county council throughout the contract term, helping to divert organic waste from landfill and into sustainable composting applications.”

Meanwhile, Huntingdon-based Envar Composting was awarded one lot to treat 20,000 tonnes of Essex county council’s green waste a year, with the value amounting to £7,011,635.

“Envar Composting are pleased to announce that we have won a 5-year contract to treat green waste from Essex county council per annum,” a spokesperson for the company told letsrecycle.com. “This new contract expands on our longstanding relationship with Essex and is an addition to our existing contract to treat their comingled food and green waste.”

Food waste

In terms of food waste treatment, five lots were awarded to Dagenham-based East London Biogas. The company operates an anaerobic digestion facility with an annual capacity of up to 70,000 tonnes and is part of the Bio Capital Group, which has been contacted for comment.

The first four of these lots were for the treatment of food waste only for Essex county council and Southend-on-Sea city council, coming up to a total of 50,000 tonnes of food waste annually, with a combined value of £10,349,087.

The notice explained that the fifth food waste treatment lot has a later commencement date, estimated from April 2024 with an expected tonnage of 10,000 tonnes per annum “maximum”. This lot is valued at £1,158,617.


On the transport side of things, Hadleigh Salvage Recycling was awarded two lots for the transfer and transport of material for Essex county council with an “earlier commencement date of 23 January”.

The first lot was for 12,500 tonnes per annum from Rochford, with a value of £2,698,005. The second lot was awarded to transport 9,000 tonnes per annum from Castlepoint, valued at £1,992,630.

Zoe Clark from Hadleigh Salvage Recycling told letsrecycle.com: “The new contracts will be for 5 years, but they have yet to be finalised. We currently take in Rochford commingled food and green waste for Essex county council and this will continue probably until next year, when it is likely to be separated like the others into food waste only and green waste only. The destination for this at the moment is Envar St Ives, Huntingdon.”

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