Headlines: April 8th, 2008

Local authorities in four areas will benefit from 310 million pounds in Private Finance Initiative Credits to help divert more than a million tonnes of waste away from landfill. Defra says the projects will make a significant contribution towards Britain meeting its landfill directive targets.

All the projects aim to reduce the overall amount of waste created in line with the objectives set by the councils involved. It is anticipated that the schemes will deliver a minimum 50 per cent recycling rate by 2020, and possibly 60 per cent in some cases. The largest level of credits goes to Suffolk County Council, which gets 102 million pounds. Just over 74 million has been awarded to the Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham Partnership and elsewhere in Yorskhire, a Leeds City Council’s project will benefit from credits of 68.6 million pounds and Bradford Metropolitan District Council will get just over 62 million.

The Environment Minister, Joan Ruddock, said the authorities had come up with ambitious but realistic projects which had risen to the challenge of supporting what she called, ‘ the whole waste hierarchy’. She added, “They have contributions to make on minimisation, recycling and waste diversion. A combination of these activities is essential in our drive to tackle climate change.”

Each of the projects will have to look at the climate change impacts of the technology it chooses to use. All the authorities are seeking options to use waste to produce combined heat and power with an Energy from Waste or Mechanical Biological Treatment solution.

Ms Ruddock said PFI agreements were an incentive for local authorities and industry to work together to achieve reductions in the environmental impact of waste and to making better use and reuse of waste that was created. “Importantly, each one of them is pursuing a solution which will achieve major carbon benefits,” she concluded.