Headlines: September 3rd, 2007

A North Yorkshire partnership has been awarded 65 million pounds in PFI credits to improve waste management in the area, a move that could see three-quarters of council-collected rubbish no longer going to landfill sites.

Defra has awarded the money to a project led by North Yorkshire County Council in partnership with York City Council. The money will be used to develop a mechanical and biological treatment plant and a second project that will generate energy from waste. At the same time the plans will mean an increase in the amount of refuse that is recycled or composted.

Over all it will see more than 75 per cent of municipal waste from North Yorkshire and York being diverted away from landfill. The final make up of the new residual waste treatment plants will be decided through the procurement process. The two authorities are the latest of 22 councils which have benefited from 900 million pounds from waste PFIs in the last ten years. In 2004/5 the total net revenue expenditure on waste collection and disposal by local councils in England was just over 2.4 billion pounds.

This was dominated by disposal at landfill sites with money being spent largely through contracts with the private sector.The Environment Minister, Joan Ruddock, said, “Reducing our reliance on landfill is an essential part of the drive to tackle climate change and I welcome the ambitious commitment made by the North Yorkshire County Council and York City Council partnership. PFI agreements like this one provide an incentive for local authorities and industry to work together to achieve our goals for cutting waste, reducing its environmental impact, and making better use and reuse of the waste we create.”