CEREDIGION and Pembrokeshire County Councils have struck a new deal to process and export residual waste overseas.
The innovative approach will save each council over £350,000 a year – and also create 11 jobs at Pembroke Dock. It will also benefit the environment at home and abroad.
Under the new contract which the two councils have signed with Potters Waste Management, waste from the two counties that cannot be recycled will be exported to Sweden. There it will be used in a high efficiency power station to produce both electricity and heat for local Swedish households.
Cllr Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s portfolio holder for Waste and Recycling said; “Ceredigion is always keen to work together with our neighbouring councils and we’re very happy to be doing so with Pembrokeshire on this occasion, thereby saving money for both councils. In addition to the cost savings, this agreement is also the most environmentally benign option available to us. We will be extracting additional recyclate from the waste before exporting and, once the agreement is up and running, our intention is that none of our waste will be going to landfill at all”.
The new contract starts on 1 March 2015 with the first shipment expected to take place at the beginning of June.
Waste collected by the two counties will first be processed at sites at Pembroke Port and in Lampeter to remove certain recyclable materials. It will then be shredded, baled and wrapped at Pembroke Port to create a Refuse Derived Fuel which can be shipped overseas.
The contract has been let under an innovative framework contract that Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion have created with advice from private sector partners, Eunomia. Under the framework, any other council can buy waste disposal services from one of seven suppliers, including two UK based and five export solutions.
The framework contract is available to all other councils in Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council has already had interest from a number of other authorities about joining.
The new contract provides a flexible, low-risk, value-for-money approach that enables us to divert waste from landfill in the short term, but avoids committing too much waste to incineration in the long term as recycling rates escalate.
Using the excess capacity in Swedish incinerators allows the waste to be disposed of at reduced cost, while the use of combined heat and power technology enables far more energy to be extracted from the waste compared with most UK incinerators, making it both a green and economical solution.
Debbie Potter, Operations Director of Potters Waste Management said the company was delighted to have won the contract, saying: “This is a new venture for us and we are delighted to be working with Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils on this innovative scheme to make best use of waste, while also creating employment opportunities.”
“The framework contract gives us the opportunity to work with all other councils in Wales to help them secure savings and meet their financial and performance demands.”