Essex tenders for contractor in move away from landfill

Essex county council has formally launched a tender for an initial seven-year deal worth £62 million per year for the disposal of 350,000 tonnes of residual waste per annum.

The county council currently sends residual waste to the various landfill sites, including the Bellhouse Landfill in Colchester.

Essex has landfilled residual waste following the failure of the Tovi Eco Park energy from waste plant (see letsrecycle.com story) and changes in the market for refuse derived fuel (RDF) (see letsrecycle.com story).

The tender document, released on 24 August, suggests the work could be worth £867 million, which includes the initial seven-year contract and an optional seven-year extension.


Essex county council disposes of waste from the 12 district and borough councils that make up the waste collection authorities across the county.

The council says it launched the procurement process to “ensure residual waste is disposed of through the most economic and sustainable solutions”.

The contract is split into three lots, respectively covering 200,000, 100,000 and 50,000 tonnes of waste. The successful contractor will receive a guaranteed minimum tonnage of 80% of each lot.

The successful contractor may be required to dispose of waste volumes up to 20% higher than the awarded lot tonnages each contract year, the council says.


With the initial seven years of the contract due to run until 2030, the race to process the waste is expected to be extremely competitive.

Indaver expects its 595,000 tonne capacity Rivenhall energy from waste (EfW) facility to begin commissioning in early 2025 and be fully operational by the end of the same year.

Meanwhile, an EfW plant in Tilbury with Vlinks to waste management company Viridor recently applied to increase its capacity (see letsrecycle.com story).

ECC will be undertaking this procurement in a challenging period

  • Essex county council


When the waste contract was first discussed in May, a report which went before the council said: “ECC will be undertaking this procurement in a challenging period for the waste treatment and disposal market.

“This is due to the national waste strategy that seeks to dramatically reduce reliance on landfill at a time when limited capacity exists at major waste treatment facilities in the south east and east of England.

“In addition, the Environment Act 2021 recently received royal assent, but the regulations to provide the detailed implementation of the policies facilitated by the Act are still to be finalised, which creates uncertainty around specific commercial risks.”

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