Viridor in £700m council waste recycling deal

Viridor's £177m energy recovery facility at Dunbar, East Lothian

Five Scottish local authorities have signed a £700 million partnership deal with recycling and waste management company Viridor.

The 25-year agreement will “divert waste from landfill by capturing recyclable materials from residual waste before recovering renewable energy from what remains.”

North Lanarkshire Council signed a contract with Viridor as the lead authority on behalf of East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire councils.

The contract will see around 190,000 tonnes of residual waste processed each year, diverting over 90% of the councils’ waste from landfill as well as producing a “refuse derived fuel” which can be used to generate renewable energy.

Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “This is an important contract in terms of the scale of waste processing and environmental benefits, but also as the first partnership between Scottish local authorities arising from Sir John Arbuthnott’s review of shared services.

“By working in partnership, we are delivering improved services for residents, best value for tax payers, creating new jobs and recycling more waste which would otherwise go to landfill.”

The contract begins on December 1, 2019.

Waste will be transported a new £22 million Viridor treatment facility at Bargeddie, North Lanarkshire where recyclable material will be extracted and the refuse derived fuel taken to the company’s £177 million energy recovery facility at Dunbar, East Lothian.

Viridor commercial director Paul Ringham said: “Viridor’s partnership will transform waste across the Clyde Valley.

“In addition to best value and driving a low-carbon future focussed on landfill diversion, the partnership will deliver real economic and community benefits.

“From next-generation infrastructure to jobs, supply-chain opportunities and an innovative education partnership, our team is ready for the work ahead.”

Chris Owens, infrastructure senior associate at Pinsent Masons, who provided professional legal advice to the five local authorities during the tendering process, said: “The project will be transformational for the partner councils, providing a reliable long-term waste treatment solution which will help them to play their part in achieving Scotland’s zero waste aspirations.”

Saeefar Rehman, associate director, energy and environment, at Grant Thornton, financial advisers to the partner councils, said: “As the first shared services contract for Scottish councils, this project demonstrates the huge benefits that can be generated through collaborative working between councils.”