21 October 2010

Project Reduce, the joint waste project between Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire is reviewing options following the withdrawal of £138 million of government financial support.

The councils in both areas have been working in partnership since 2008 to procure a long-term solution to the growing problem of residual or ‘black bag’ waste going to landfill.

The funding was part of Defra’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme and would have contributed to the cost of the infrastructure of the project.

Both authorities understand the importance of finding a solution to the landfill problem and will now review contingency plans to find the best way of moving forward.

Cabinet member for Highways, Minerals and Waste at Northamptonshire County Council, Councillor Heather Smith, said: “This is disappointing for everyone involved in the project although we completely understand the need to review all spending in these economically challenging times.

“The financial and environmental problems associated with landfill are not going away, and the project will now review its options in an effort to find a solution that continues to meet the long term needs of all our residents.”

Councillor Mike Galloway, cabinet member for Environment, Planning and Growth for Milton Keynes Council, said: “The project is a very positive partnership between our two authorities for the long term benefit of residents, and we will continue to work together to find the best route forward.”

“We remain committed to finding a solution that prevents the need for us to pay increasing landfill taxes and fines.”

More information about the project is available online at: www.projectreduce.co.uk

Additional information:

Defra has announced it will withdraw funding from seven waste treatment projects in the UK. The PFI funding had been provisionally granted subject to the successful submission of the final business case to the government. At this point the funding would have been supplied to the project to offset construction costs.