28 January 2019 by Will Date

Suffolk councils sign ten-year recycling contract with Viridor

Viridor will continue to process mixed recyclable materials from Suffolk’s local authorities – under a renewed contract announced today (28 January) worth up to £88.75 million over ten years.

The contract, which was agreed through Suffolk county council, will see Viridor recover mixed plastics, aluminium and steel cans, mixed paper and cardboard from Ipswich borough council, and Babergh, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal, West Suffolk (formerly St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils) and Waveney district councils.

Viridor will be responsible for sorting and marketing recyclable commodities from the Suffolk local authorities

The material will be processed at the company’s Masons Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Great Blakenham – which has the capacity to sort and separate up to 55,000 tonnes of mixed recyclables per-year. Beginning in May, the contract also includes the marketing of the material once it has been sorted.

The new contract extends Viridor’s long-standing arrangement with Suffolk which has been in place since 2004 – and was renewed in April 2014 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Viridor’s head of local authority development, Simon Prior, said: “We look forward to building on this work and advancing our shared goals of helping residents understand and make the most of their efforts in recycling.”

Paul West, cabinet member for waste at Suffolk county council, said: “We are looking forward to working with Viridor to build on Suffolk’s excellent track record of recycling and ensuring sustainable outlets for the recyclable waste collected from homes across the county.”


Each of the councils within the contract operates an alternate weekly collection system, with dry recyclables such as paper, cardboard, tins and plastic bottles and containers collected commingled. At present, none of the councils collect glass from the kerbside.

‘Bernie the Binman’ is the face of Suffolk’s Getting Recycling Right campaign

In 2016 the Suffolk Waste Partnership began a communications campaign, titled ‘Getting Recycling Right’ aimed at cutting contamination in kerbside collections (see letsrecycle.com story).

The campaign highlighted food waste, glass, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), batteries and nappies among the items commonly presented amongst dry recyclable materials.

The contract award comes shortly after Suffolk county council offered a renewed eight-year contract to FCC Environment for the running of the county’s 11 household waste recycling centres – worth up to £70 million over its lifespan (see letsrecycle.com story).


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