22 March 2019 by Elizabeth Slow

Greater Manchester prepares final waste contracts

Major contracts to provide waste management services on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority are being finalised and are expected to be awarded to Suez next month.

GMCA has today confirmed Suez as its preferred tenderer for two lots of the contract, which will run for an initial seven years, with an option for extension. The two lots could have a value of up to £1.5 billion – documents issued when the work was initially put to market suggest.

Suez has now been confirmed as preferred tenderer for the Greater Manchester waste services contract

Suez was initially reported as the preferred bidder by letsrecycle.com last month (see letsrecycle.com story).

The contract is one of the largest of its kind in the country, involving the handling of waste on behalf of the roughly 1.2 million households across the Greater Manchester region.

GMCA’s announcement follows a year-long procurement for three separate elements – all of which had previously been provided under a contract with Viridor (Greater Manchester) Ltd.


Lot 1 includes the operation of five residual waste facilities, nine household waste recycling centres, eight transfer loading stations, the Bolton thermal recovery facility, the materials recovery facility, the obligation to produce refuse derived fuel and associated rail transport and supply to the Runcorn energy recovery facility.

Lot 2 includes the operation of eleven standalone household waste recycling centres that are located on sites separate to the main waste treatment facilities.

GMCA is also procuring a third contract for a framework of in-vessel composting operators who can receive 125,000 tonnes of mixed food and garden waste per annum for treatment and recycling.

The authority is now expected to formally sign the two contracts with Suez in the coming months.

This will be followed by a mobilisation period for the current contractor to hand over the operation of all the facilities to Suez. The new contracts are due to start on Saturday 1 June 2019. Existing staff working at the sites will transfer over to Suez.

Viridor’s other, separate agreement with the GMCA is unaffected and continues as normal. This is a 25-year contract to process residual waste at the Runcorn Energy Recovery facility, which has 16 years more to run, with an option to extend for a further 15 years.


“We are now working closely with Greater Manchester Combined Authority as we move into the mobilisation period of this new partnership in order to deliver a smooth transition at contract start.”

David Palmer-Jones

Commenting on the announcement, David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Suez, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as Preferred Tenderer. We are now working closely with Greater Manchester Combined Authority as we move into the mobilisation period of this new partnership in order to deliver a smooth transition at contract start.”

GMCA’s green city region lead, Cllr Alex Ganotis, said: “We are extremely pleased with the result of the procurement process and are confident that Suez will deliver outstanding recycling and waste treatment services for the residents of Greater Manchester.

“This is another step towards making Greater Manchester one of the leading Green City regions in the UK. The new partnership with Suez will focus on reducing household waste and moving towards a more circular economy”.


Cllr Allison Gwynne, chair of the GMCA waste and recycling committee, said: “The procurement of the waste and resources management contracts has taken over a year to conclude and a huge commitment from the GMCA waste and resources team and committee members.

“There are no changes planned to resident’s household waste and recycling collection services, however, residents will see some immediate changes to the household waste recycling centres and will be able to recycle a wider range of items.”

Veolia and Viridor were among the other companies to have bid for the contract.


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