15 January 2020 by James Langley

Coventry MRF ‘progressing well’

Coventry council said plans for a £34.45 million regional materials recovery facility (MRF) are “progressing well” and it hopes to name the company which will build the plant this year.

A site for the proposed facility has been secured and a contract notice for its development was issued in September , with the council currently in the process of reviewing and evaluating returns.

Coventry’s recyclable waste is currently sent to Biffa’s Aldridge MRF

The full tender process is anticipated to take up much of 2020, with an appointment anticipated before the end of the year, the council confirmed. It is hoped the plant will be operational by 2024.

The MRF will be owned by AssetCo, a company set up by the seven member councils [named below], and in which each will have a stake. Once the MRF is built, AssetCo will enter into agreements with member councils to sort its material, with the aim of saving on sorting costs.

Project board chair, Richard Dobbs, director of Streetscape North Warwickshire borough council, told letsrecycle.com: “I’m really pleased to say that our MRF project is continuing to progress well.

“Approvals from all partner councils was secured at the end of last summer, including the addition of Stratford District Council, taking the partnership now to seven local authorities – Coventry city council, North Warwickshire district council, Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council, Rugby borough council, Stratford district council, Solihull metropolitan borough council and Walsall council.”

Proposals for the facility were unanimously approved by Coventry in September 2019 (see letsrecycle.com story), and received the approval of several partner councils later that month.


In the tender document, wherein the project is described as the Sherbourne Resource Park Delivery Project, it explains AssetCo will reserve the right “to explore the scope for further development of the MRF, which may include exploration of the ability to extract low grade plastics at the MRF and to invite other local authorities to participate in the project at any time”.

The site is located on London Road in Coventry and is owned by the city council, who said site clearance was underway for ground investigation work.


Three lots for the development of the proposed plant were specified in the tender document, with the council to accept either the most economically advantageous tenderers of Lots A and B or the most economically advantageous tenderer of Lot D.

The project has been approved by seven partner councils across the West Midlands

Lot A, valued at £16 million across 50 months, is a civil works package for the project which comprises the design and construction of the MRF building and other infrastructure.

Lot B is valued at €22 million across 50 months and is the process works package for the project. It comprises the design, supply, installation, commissioning and testing of the processing equipment for the MRF.

By contrast, lot D, valued at £102 million across 146 months, is a complete design, build and operate solution for the project which comprises the civils works package, the process works package and the provision of operation and maintenance services for the MRF for a period of five years post-commissioning.

Mr Dobbs said: “The contract notice was issued at the end of September starting the procurement process which is expected to take up much on 2020 with a final call for tender anticipated in early autumn and appointment before year end.’’


Currently MRF services are provided to Coventry City Council by Biffa, which processes the material at the Aldridge MRF near Walsall. Tom White Waste provides bulking and haulage.

“I’m really pleased to say that our MRF project is continuing to progress well”

Richard Dobbs

A report to councillors suggested £584,000 could be saved annually by taking the recycling sorting work in-house (see letsrecycle.com story).

It is proposed that the MRF will have a treatment cost of £44.31 per tonne for material entering the site.


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