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End to landfill another step closer

16 May 2013

A spokesperson for the South London Waste Partnership’s four boroughs (Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) has said they are pleased that, “on the fair balance of evidence, the right decision has been made” over the future of an Energy Recovery Facility in South London.

Last night (15 May 2013) a Planning Committee gave the green light for an Energy Recovery Facility to be built in Beddington, South London on the borders of Sutton, Merton and Croydon.

Responding to the news, Councillor Derek Osbourne, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Waste Committee said:

“I’m very proud of the deal we have achieved for local people.  This facility is both kind to the environment and it avoids passing on large costs to the taxpayer.  Viridor have listened to local people and offered something that makes sense for the entire area.”

Rachel Lewis, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Management Group, said:

“We have spent four years driving towards the best technical and commercial deal that the waste industry has to offer.  We’ve seen first-hand that combining greater recycling with energy recovery is the only viable commercial option if you want to protect the environment and save the taxpayer money.

“We’re very glad science and evidence won the argument and Viridor can now build a state-of-the-art facility.  This technology has taken huge leaps forward recently and really come of age – most of Europe is pursuing energy recovery.  This is a safe, environmentally sustainable, proven technology.  We can rest assured this is the right choice for our boroughs.”

The Sutton planning decision follows an application from Viridor who have been awarded a contract to dispose of the South London Waste Partnership’s residual waste.  It will see that the Partnership meets its statutory landfill diversion targets and avoids hefty landfill levies and fines.

At present over 200,000 tonnes of ‘black bag’ waste from households in Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton goes to landfill.  Viridor’s proposal is to develop a state-of-the-art Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at its existing landfill and recycling site in Beddington, Sutton.  This facility would have the capacity to process up to 275,000 tonnes of waste per year, extracting valuable electricity and heat from the process.


Notes to Editors:

  • The Sutton planning report notes that “There is an identifiable and urgent need to divert residual waste arising from landfill and the proposals will provide for this in line with relevant national, London and local waste policies.”
  • The South London Waste Partnership contract with Viridor intentionally incentivises continued waste reduction and recycling.  It is a contract which deliberately avoids ‘feeding the machine.’  As a company that recycles well over a million tonnes of material each year, Viridor understands the Partnership’s target to improve recycling year on year.  The contract innovatively achieves this by allowing for declining tonnages of waste to be put through the facility in future years.  The Partner boroughs will also continue to heavily promote waste reduction, reuse and recycling.
  • Viridor has accepted that the ERF will not process materials that have been separated for recycling or composting unless they cannot be practicably recycled or composted.  This would prohibit the incineration of waste already sorted for recycling including any delivered to the adjacent Waste Transfer Station.
  • The cost of the contract means a saving to the four boroughs of approximately £197m over the 25 year contract period when compared to landfill.  It also offers a share in energy income received by Viridor, a share in income from third party waste being delivered to the facility and potential for the retention of Business Rates relating to the new facility.

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