Biffa Waste Services has been selected as the councils preferred bidder for the £300 million contract, following a procurement process that lasted 18 months and attracted bids from seven major waste management companies.
The company will now progress plans for a £30 million waste reception/recycling and composting centre supported by the Governments Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and will begin its preparations for taking over the citys waste management contracts.
Biffas bid demonstrated to the city council that they had the technical expertise, as well as the creative and cost-effective solutions needed to help the city achieve its recycling targets, said cabinet member responsible for the environment, Cllr Nigel Holden.
The contract worth around £300 million represents the biggest single contract ever awarded by the city council, so it was vital that the selection process was stringent. I am pleased to say that we have found a partner who shares our objectives, and who will provide the city with a truly integrated waste management service over the next 25 years.
Biffas managing director, Martin Bettington, said: We are delighted to have this opportunity to work in partnership with the city council in Leicester on this exciting project. Our aim is to deliver a quality service based on the highest levels of customer care and environmental leadership to the people of Leicester
Biffas proposals for managing the citys waste include:
a weekly wheeled-bin collection
a weekly collection of glass, plastics and paper
a new reception and recycling centre at Bursom Industrial Estate in Leicester, where steel and aluminium would be extracted from other waste.
a purpose-built anaerobic digester for composting the citys organic waste at Severn Trent Waters facility at Wanlip in Leicestershire
use of landfill sites at Welford and Wilnecote for all the waste that cant be recycled.
The company will also be responsible for managing the citys bottle, paper and textile banks, and the two community recycling centres at Bridge Road and Islington Street. It will also promote waste minimisation and recycling through city-wide public awareness campaigns.
Over the next 25 years, the Government will provide £30 million in PFI credits to the city council to cover its capital costs. Biffa will develop the facilities it needs to deliver the contract at its own expense and in exchange, the council will pay Biffa an annual fee, representing an element of the capital costs and an element of the service costs. At the end of the 25-year contract, the infrastructure will be owned by the city council. This PFI-backed project will give fresh impetus to Leicesters drive towards sustainability, said city council leader Ross Willmott. By collecting glass from peoples homes, by composting the citys organic waste, and by continuing to recycle paper, plastics, steel and aluminium, we aim to recycle 40% of the citys waste by 2005. And that would put Leicester at the top of the recycling league.
Biffa will take over the collection of the citys waste in 2004, although it will be 2005 before the new facilities are expected to be fully operational.