Between now and the end of the year, a tower crane will arrive on site, ground stabilisation works will be completed and excavation to make way for key parts of the building will start.
The council’s partner Veolia who will run the facility for 25 years, have appointed Clugston to build it.
Once operational in 2016, the facility will process up to 214,000 tonnes of black bin waste a year, saving around £200 million over 25 years compared to continuing send this waste to landfill. This will help the city to achieve its long-term target of recycling more than 60% of its waste.
Following employment events locally based people have been recruited to work on site and a number of Leeds businesses are now in the construction supply chain.
Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:
“Following many years of intense hard work, the real physical graft is beginning and we’re really looking forward to being able to see the fruits of these efforts literally coming out of the ground.
“As well as providing a long-term solution for managing waste, diverting substantial amounts of waste from landfill means we can save an eye-watering amount of money; money that can be spent delivering vital services for the people of Leeds. All of this adds up to a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future for Leeds.”
Paul Fowler, general manager, Veolia Environmental Services, said:
“We’re delighted to begin construction so the partnership’s plans to create new employment and training opportunities for local residents can come into fruition. The facility will be a real asset to the city of Leeds and will deliver employment opportunities in the short, medium and longer term.”
Steve Radcliffe, managing director, Clugston Construction, said:
“This will be our sixth project in the waste reduction and energy market in recent years and we have seen first hand how they benefit the local economy. The construction sector has suffered significantly in recent years and investment in schemes such as this has been instrumental in retaining and creating job opportunities in the industry.”
The main part of the facility will be a wooden-framed and glazed structure which will eventually become a living green wall covered in plants and will be the largest of its kind in Europe.
The building itself will be 42 metres in height, 125 metres long and 35 metres wide. It will feature a glass walkway and visitor centre.
Rubbish from household black bins across the city will arrive at a waste reception and mechanical pre-treatment building where it will be sorted. Here, any items that can be recycled will be removed.
Only the remaining waste, which would otherwise be buried costing millions in landfill taxes, will then be incinerated. Ash residue will be recycled for use in the construction industry.
Energy generated by the processes used at the facility would be enough to power around 20,000 homes.
Veolia and the council are investigating how heat produced as energy is generated could be used to heat homes and other businesses in the area.
Veolia are continuing to working with local residents as part of the community liaison group and will be keeping them informed throughout the construction process and once the facility becomes operational.
Local residents interested in joining the community liaison group can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 085 8980.
For more information please contact:
Regional Communications Manager
Veolia Environmental Services
Mobile (07909 883226)
Or visit www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk/Leeds
You can also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VeoliaUK