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End of landfill a step closer for south London

November 7, 2012

On Monday 5th November the South London Waste Partnership signed a contract with Viridor that brings the end of landfill a step closer for local residents.

The contract will ensure that from 2017 around 200,000 tonnes of ‘residual waste’ (rubbish left over after residents have separated materials for recycling or composting) that is generated every year by households in Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton will no longer be buried in expensive and environmentally unsustainable landfill sites.  Instead, Viridor have submitted a planning application to process this waste through a modern Energy Recovery Facility (ERF). This facility will provide carbon savings every year of 600,000 tonnes, and will generate enough sustainable electricity to power around 45,000 homes.

Describing the significance of the contract, Councillor Derek Osbourne, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership’s Joint Waste Committee said:

“Our boroughs are already leading the way on green issues, but this contract is a major milestone that could bring world-class infrastructure to South London.

“Several years ago our four boroughs agreed we couldn’t keep burying waste in the ground.  We’ve listened to local people and chosen a much more sustainable way of handling waste.  This contract will bring huge environmental benefits to all of the boroughs in our partnership and deliver considerable savings to the taxpayer when they’re needed most.

“The new contract will be cheaper than current landfill disposal from day one, and over the 25-year lifetime of the contract it will save the four partner boroughs around £200 million.  This money will help protect frontline services like schools, parks, libraries, social care and roads.”

Viridor Chief Executive Colin Drummond welcomed the signature of the contract.  He said:

“This is a key milestone in the development of this project. We are proud of being able to offer the councils a safe, robust and cost-effective solution to meet their needs and to complement their already successful recycling, composting and waste prevention initiatives.”

Describing the contract award process, Rachel Lewis, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership’s Management Group said:

“This is the biggest contract in our councils’ histories so the process has had to be incredibly rigorous and stand up to intense scrutiny.  By working together we have been able to pool our expertise, share our resources and achieve big commercial savings through economies of scale.  The Partnership wanted a more environmentally sustainable approach to waste and we’ve stayed true to this.  The improvements being made are something local people can be really proud of.”

Notes to editors:

– The contract is subject to Viridor gaining planning permission to build an ERF plant in Beddington for which they have submitted an application.

– The procurement process started in May 2008.

– Viridor will provide an interim service to the Partnership until the facility is operational. The interim service is guaranteed to be at the contracted price and to commence in April 2014.