Suez set for major Greater Manchester waste contract

EXCLUSIVE: Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a major waste services contract in Greater Manchester.

Suez has been selected as the provider for two elements of the contract, involving waste and resource management services and management of household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The decision was confirmed at a meeting last week (15 February).

Suez is the preferred bidder to provide waste and resource management and HWRC management across Manchester

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 region.

The appointment is subject to a 10-day standstill period, with the contract scheduled to start on 1 June 2019.


GMCA received final tenders from Veolia and Suez on 20 December 2018. Previously, Viridor had also been in the running for the contract but withdrew from the procurement process. Compliance checks were then undertaken on the final two tender responses and these were evaluated and scored.

Waste management services were previously provided by Viridor Laing under a PFI contract with the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA). This contract was terminated in 2017 and since then, GMWDA has been abolished and the powers for waste disposal transferred to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) (see story).

GMCA decided to break the services contract up into three lots based on waste stream and facilities. The decision to break up the contract followed a review carried out by GMCA, which found that a single integrated contract was “unlikely to generate a competitive market response owing to the limited number of organisations that would be able to bid”.

Instead, the new arrangement was chosen to “maximise competition” and attract specialist service providers.


At a meeting of GMCA last week, Councillor Alex Ganotis, portfolio lead for green city region, thanked members and councillors involved in the procurement process. He said: “We’re well aware of the situation we were previously in in terms of the previous contract arrangement and specifically the PFI arrangements.

“I think this has been a model of best practice in terms of how we should be doing procurements and you will see the outcome of this in terms of the value that will be derived from the new contracts and also the prices that we pay.”


“We are delighted to have been appointed as Preferred Tenderer. We look forward to working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in this new partnership once the procurement process has been finalised.”

David Palmer-Jones

Commenting on the contract award, David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Suez, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as Preferred Tenderer. We look forward to working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in this new partnership once the procurement process has been finalised.”

When contacted by, a spokesperson for GMCA confirmed the appointment of Suez as preferred bidder for the two contracts.

“This appointment is subject to a standstill period that follows the yearlong procurement and evaluation process,” she said. “According to procurement rules, the standstill period is at least 10 business days.”

The two lots are expected to include the operation of five residual waste sites, twenty 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 Thermal Power Station.


The third lot of the contract for biowaste services was cancelled in October 2018. The decision was taken due to the “continued uncertainty” over the national resources and waste strategy, announced by Defra on 18 December 2018, GMCA said.

GMCA is now looking to procure 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. This procurement is ongoing.


Operations are currently being delivered via a short term contract with the existing operator, Viridor Waste (Greater Manchester) Ltd, while GMCA procures the future operating contracts.

A spokesperson for Viridor said: “Viridor took the decision to withdraw from the Greater Manchester waste procurement process conducted by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.  The company had pre-qualified for two of the initial three lots on offer, covering Waste and Resources Management Services and Bio-Waste Services. After careful consideration, Viridor withdrew its application for commercial reasons and to focus on other market opportunities.”

The company confirmed it will continue to operate waste management services across Greater Manchester until 31 May 2019, after which employees will be transferred to the new contractor under TUPE arrangements.


GMCA is one of England’s largest waste disposal authorities, holding waste powers for nine councils in Greater Manchester.

[Updated 21/02/19 biowaste contract updated]


Leave a Reply

The Blog Box

Other Publications from
The Environment Media Group

Back to top