£50million contracts open to offers

TWO Suffolk County Council contracts, worth over £50million, are open to bidders from across Europe today.

The 15-year packages, for transporting and sorting waste, are on offer due to a combination of current contracts ending and a change in future needs.

In future all of Suffolk’s black bin waste will go to the new energy-from-waste facility being built at Great Blakenham and recycling will go to an as-yet-undecided point for sorting at a materials recycling facility.

Councillor Clive Arthey, chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, said: “To reduce the number of lorries needed we’ll use strategically positioned large sheds, known as transfer stations, where waste from collection lorries can be bulked up and put on fewer, but bigger vehicles, for onward transport.

“We’ll need at least three transfer stations, in or around Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and to the east of Ipswich, but may need more if that proves to be the best deal for the council tax payer.”

The other contract on offer is for the sorting of recyclable materials collected by councils from homes and other premises across Suffolk.

The current contract, using a materials recycling facility in Great Blakenham, ends in March 2014.

Although some existing waste facilities may be used in the future, it is likely new ones will also be needed. Any contractor that wishes to propose the construction of new facilities will have to seek planning permission so Suffolk people can have their say.

The new arrangements need to be in place by March 2014, when the current contract for sorting recyclable materials runs out and in time for the energy-from-waste facility opening at the end of the year.