03 December 2012

A proposal for new contracts which will see a massive reduction in the amount of rubbish sent to landfill in Northamptonshire - saving millions of pounds - has taken a significant step nearer.

Northamptonshire County Council is set to award the seven-year-contracts which will eventually see more than 65 per cent of residual waste diverted from landfill sites.

This new approach came about after the government took away the PFI finance for a joint waste disposal scheme with Milton Keynes called ‘Project Reduce’.

The Council considers this new strategy allows it to benefit from several advantages including not requiring capital investment or being locked into a long 25 year contract which is seen as being particularly advantageous due to the ever changing availability of facilities able to treat residual waste.

The move away from putting waste in landfill sites has both environmental and financial benefits, with the cost of landfilling becoming increasingly expensive and is set to rise to £105 per tonne by 2014/15.

Projections suggest this could further increase to £134 per tonne by 2019/2020, which would mean the county council would have to spend £23million annually to have rubbish buried in the ground.

The council’s cabinet will receive a final update prior to the award of contracts at a meeting on Tuesday, December 11.

Cllr Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for the environment, said: “This is a landmark project for the county council as it shows that we’re taking positive steps to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste which is landfilled by using innovative solutions.

“The county council isn’t investing in new facilities, but making full use of the facilities that the waste management industry offers.

“Of course, the more we can all reduce, reuse and recycle, the less waste we will have to dispose of. Along with our partners in the districts and boroughs we’ve been having tremendous success with our recycling rates. One of our household waste recycling centres at Brixworth is now recycling a massive 84 per cent and I’d encourage everyone to keep up the good work as it not only makes environmental sense but financial sense too.

“This is a greener outlook for Northamptonshire’s waste.”

The new contracts will bring about a saving of £5.7million for the county council over their seven year life.

This new strategy for residual waste has divided the county into three zones with contracts awarded for each of the zones.

Bidders will be notified about the outcome of the procurement process and an announcement over the successful bidder and how they are going to dispose of the waste will be announced in the next few weeks subject to the agreement of the Cabinet.

Significant steps have already been taken by the county council with district and borough councils in the county to divert recyclable waste from landfill sites.

New kerbside collection services for kitchen food waste are being rolled out in some areas of Northamptonshire and the county council has given planning permission for several anaerobic digestion plants to treat this waste.