29 July 2019 by Lucy Pegg

Viridor, Suez and ETM agree West of England contracts

The West of England Waste Partnership has awarded three long-term contracts to treat the region’s residual and bulky waste from March 2020.

Suez will take waste from the West of England to its Severnside Energy Recovery Facility

Viridor, Suez and ETM won the ten-year contracts – Viridor and Suez will handle 120,000 and 50,000 tonnes of kerbside black bag residual waste respectively, whilst ETM will take 45,500 tonnes of bulky waste mainly from Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

The West of England Waste Partnership is made up of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset councils. The partnership hopes it will save £300,000 a year across the four local authorities through the new contracts.

Currently the region’s waste is sent to a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility operated by Panda at Avonmouth and exported for incineration in Scandinavia, under a contract expiring in March 2020 – as well as a proportion to landfill sites.

Treatment

“These new contracts show how as a region we can provide cleaner energy from residual waste and save taxpayer money in doing so.”

Steve Pearce, Bristol City Council

The new contracts will see Viridor treat waste at its Avonmouth energy recovery facility which is currently under construction, while Suez will utilise its Severnside Energy Recovery Facility for its portion of the work. There are options for the contract to be extended in ten-year periods.

Commenting on the contracts, Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhoods at Bath and North East Somerset council, said: “It’s terrible in this day and age that we send our rubbish all the way to the continent to be incinerated; with Climate Change at the top of the agenda we need to be more careful with our carbon footprint.

“Sending so much rubbish to landfill is also the worst possible thing we can do.  These changes will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill which is good news for residents of Bath and North East Somerset and great news for the environment.”

Energy from Waste

The West of England Waste Partnership claims the new arrangements have the potential to power more than 120,000 homes from waste that cannot be recycled by other means.

Viridor will take its share of the residual waste to its Avonmouth ERF, which is nearing completion

The EfW technology will end the region’s reliance on the Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) method and will divert more waste from landfill than MBT.

Viridor and Suez are bound by their contract to divert at least 90% of waste from landfill, whilst ETM must divert 80% of bulky waste from landfill.

Bath and North East Somerset council note that value will also be gained from the waste through the recovery of recyclate before it is incinerated.

Councillor Steve Pearce, Cabinet Member for Waste Regulatory Services and Commercialisation at Bristol City Council, said: “These new contracts show how as a region we can provide cleaner energy from residual waste and save taxpayer money in doing so.

“Our agreements with Viridor and Suez are an efficient and greener approach to reconstituting unusable waste into energy.”

Each of the councils in the partnership also say they are taking measures to reduce residual waste by lowering use of single use items like plastic cups and disposable nappies, as well as introducing smaller residual waste bins to encourage recycling.

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