February 2015

Innovative Residual Waste Framework to Save Welsh Councils Money

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Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils have become the first Welsh local authorities to let contracts under an innovative waste framework agreement developed with Eunomia Research & Consulting. Both councils are set to make annual savings in excess of £350,000.

Under the framework, which is run by Pembrokeshire Council with support from Eunomia, the councils can buy waste disposal services from one of seven suppliers, consisting of two UK and five export solutions. The framework agreement is now available to all other councils in Wales and Pembrokeshire Council has already had enquiries from a number of other authorities.

The two new contracts are with Potters Waste Management. Waste will be processed at sites at Pembroke Port and in Lampeter, to remove recyclable materials. The waste will then be shredded, baled and wrapped at Pembroke Port to create a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) which can then be shipped overseas. The contract, which is expected to create 11 jobs at Pembroke Dock and in local haulage, will commence on 1st March 2015 and it is expected that the first shipment will take place at the beginning of June.

The RDF will be exported to Sweden for use in a high efficiency power station, which produces both electricity and heat for local households. Using the excess capacity in Swedish incinerators makes it a low-cost treatment option, while the combined heat and power technology employed enables far more energy to be extracted from the waste compared with most UK incinerators, making this both a green and economical solution.

The framework responds to the financial and performance pressures faced by local authorities in Wales regarding the management of their municipal waste. Authorities now pay landfill tax of £80 per tonne, and are striving to meet challenging statutory recycling targets.

Eunomia Director Joe Papineschi, who leads the project, said,

“Local authorities in Wales have significant challenges to meet on shrinking budgets. Using the framework agreement simplifies the process of tendering for residual waste treatment, and makes some very competitive prices available both from UK and overseas facilities. There are real opportunities for councils in Wales to quickly and cheaply access very high quality facilities.”

Richard Brown, Pembrokeshire Head of Environment and Civil Contingencies, said the contract provided an opportunity for achieving cost savings for the County Council while also creating jobs and boosting recycling rates, adding,

“It provides a flexible, low-risk, value-for-money approach that enables us to divert waste from landfill in the short term, but avoids committing too much waste to incineration in the long term as recycling rates escalate.”

Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s portfolio holder for Waste and Recycling said,

“Ceredigion is always keen to work together with our neighbouring councils and we’re very happy to be doing so with Pembrokeshire on this occasion, thereby saving money for both councils.”

Authorities interested in finding out more about the framework should contact Dan John at Pembrokeshire County Council.