Veolia signed a 25-year contract with Leeds CC in 2012.
Around 40% of household waste in Leeds is recycled.
The RERF now manages all of Leeds black bin waste across the city.
In 2012, Veolia signed a 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Leeds City Council for residual municipal waste treatment and energy recovery.
Currently around 40 per cent of household waste in Leeds is recycled or composted. Leeds City Council is working with the public to increase this recycling rate to a minimum with aspirations to exceed this level in the longer term.
Our solution supports this goal but, even with increased recycling rates, there will always be an amount of waste that cannot be recycled either because it is not technically possible or economically viable to do so.
The government has told local authorities that they need to find other ways to manage their black bin household waste because landfill is the least appropriate solution and emits a substantial amount of greenhouse gases.
To encourage local authorities and businesses to stop sending waste to landfill sites, the government charges a Landfill Tax. In 2017 this tax will rise to £86 a tonne, meaning the cost to the Council and taxpayers of burying this black bag waste will continue to increase.
Our solution will save the city £270 million over the 25-year contract compared to the cost of sending to landfill.
The Council has chosen Veolia to help deliver their goals for increasing recycling and avoiding landfill. The Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) comprises a first stage recycling facility that can handle up to 214,000 tonnes per annum of residual waste and recycle around 10 per cent of the waste .
The residue left over from this first important recycling stage will be used in the second stage Energy Recovery Facility. This is sized at 164,000 tonnes per annum and will generate around 13 MW of electricity for supply to the National Grid – sufficient to power in the region of 22,000 homes
This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the same amount as taking around 29,000 cars off the road each year.
Any shortfalls in household waste as a result of, for example, increases in recycling rates beyond those already targeted will be made up with similar wastes from the business sector in Leeds which would otherwise have been landfilled.
This will also help to keep costs down for the Council related to its black bin waste whilst maintaining income from electricity generation.