By Chris Sloley
Milton Keynes council has today (June 23) made the first formal step towards procuring its own large-scale residual waste treatment capacity.
The Buckinghamshire local authority has placed a tender document on the Official Journal of the European Union advertising a long-term waste treatment contract.
The notice marks a key step in the Buckinghamshire local authority managing a projected 80,000 tonnes-a-year of residual waste over the next 10 to 25 years.
Companies now have one month to express an interest in the contract, with Milton Keynes stressing that consideration will be given to projects which propose the supply of additional resources, such as heat and electricity. It has stated it will not consider mass burn incineration.
Milton Keynes had sought to jointly procure facilities with neighbouring Northamptonshire county council, under the banner Project Reduce, but decided to end the partnership after the project lost its PFI credits in October 2010 (see letsrecycle.com story).
However, Milton Keynes vowed to continue with the procurement process by itself and held an open day at the end of March 2011 to measure market interest in the project (see letsrecycle.com story).
Andy Hudson, head of environment and waste at Milton Keynes, said: Milton Keynes council has a strong recycling record and we want to build on this by driving residual waste up the waste hierarchy. We also have a non mass burn incineration policy, which requires the waste is pre-treated to recover valuable resources and prior to generating renewable energy.
Waste facilities developed by a successful contractor would be expected to be operational by April 2016. And, the council said it expects that the contract to operate the plants would be for 10 years, although it remains open to exploring options to extend the lengths if needs be.
The contract would involve designing, building and operating the waste facilities, as well as the provision of a bespoke information centre, which would allow visitors to view and take tours of the site.
Milton Keynes, according to 2009/10 data, produced 130,340 tonnes of household waste, with 55,478 tonnes (42.56 %) being recycled or composted, while 74,862 tonnes (57.4%) was landfilled. Residual waste is projected to rise 80,000 tonnes-a-year by 2038/39.
The contract procurement process is expected to take two years to complete, with a series of discussions taking place with interested parties and a preferred bidder being selected following a competitive dialogue process.