In March 2008 West Berkshire Council awarded Veolia (UK) Plc a 25-year integrated PFI waste contract. Veolia and West Berkshire are targeting a long-term 49% recycling rate as part of a major boost to recycling in the area.
That decision has allowed us to implement the Council’s adopted municipal waste management strategy which focuses on maximising recycling and composting; we have also enhanced the kerbside collection of recyclables in line with requests from local residents.
The contract covers the Council's waste collection, recycling, disposal and street cleansing services. To fulfil the contract, Veolia is working with the Council to implement an integrated waste management system to deal with the 80,000 tonnes of waste produced in the district each year. This will involve both the expansion of recycling services and investment in waste infrastructure, for which West Berkshire Council has been awarded £28.49 million by Defra in PFI credits. The council's integrated approach means the delivery of both the expansion of recycling services and waste infrastructure investment meets the needs in West Berkshire, to the value of more than £27 million.
Recycling over 47% of West Berkshire waste
At the start of the contract, 77% of West Berkshire's waste was sent to landfill. This is the least favourable way of disposing of waste and across the UK landfill space is running out. By next year, councils could face fines of up to £150 per tonne of rubbish that is sent to be dumped in landfill sites over a set quota, therefore taxpayers could face an increase in council tax. To achieve our high recycling targets, new facilities are needed to process household waste. As a result of investment in new facilities, along with the increased kerbside recycling, West Berkshire now recycles over 47% of it’s waste, with only 17% sent to landfill.
Padworth Waste Facility now open
The Padworth Sidings site was identified by West Berkshire Council. We submitted a planning application in June 2008, which was approved by the local planning authority committee. The facility which is now open incorporates an in-vessel composting facility, materials recovery facility and waste transfer station, mini household waste recycling centre and depot. With these new facilities operational, West Berkshire is now able to achieve the high recycling and landfill diversion targets that have been set. It also incorporates a visitor centre and administration block, which allows people to see the processes and technology used to handle our waste.
Along with providing the facilities needed to handle the district’s waste, Veolia are also committed to providing waste education and to helping West Berkshire residents minimise the amount of waste we all produce. With outreach, educational activities and visits, projects designed to minimise specific waste streams, Veolia is leading West Berkshire into a cleaner, greener future.