The Essex Waste Partnership includes Essex County Council, our 12 district and borough councils and the unitary authority of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. The Essex Waste Partnership was set up to ensure cost-efficient and sustainable waste management is delivered across the county and Southend. Our aim is to reduce and reuse as much waste as is physically possible. Despite these efforts, it is predicted there will still be around 377,000 tonnes of household waste each year which cannot be recycled. This waste needs to be managed in order to minimise its environmental impact. In order to do this, new waste treatment facilities are needed.
In July 2009, Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council submitted an outline business case to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding for a residual waste treatment facility. Funding worth £100 million has been awarded to the councils, which will help us to deliver this facility for the county.
The process to appoint a contractor to build and operate a residual waste treatment facility began in November 2009 with a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting expressions of interest for the waste PFI contract.
We received seven expressions of interest in the form of responses to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). All seven Bidders passed the PQQ and were invited to participate in the ‘competitive dialogue’ procurement process.
The tender process saw bidders deselected at various stages and culminated in two consortia selected to submit Final Tenders. They were Resources from Waste and Urbaser Balfour Beatty.
Following a thorough evaluation process, on 3 January 2012 the Essex Waste Partnership announced that the Urbaser and Balfour Beatty consortium had been named as preferred bidder for the treatment of residual waste in Essex.
On 31 May 2012 Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council signed a 25-year contract with the Urbaser Balfour Beatty consortium.
The Urbaser Balfour Beatty consortium has now built a Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility to treat kerbside collected residual waste, trade waste collected by the local Essex authorities, street sweepings, and all non-recycled waste from recycling centres for household waste across Essex and Southend.
The new facility, at a site on Courtauld Road in Basildon, will be capable of treating up to 417,000 tonnes of municipal waste a year once it is fully operational in 2015. As well as treating waste the facility will incorporate a visitor and education centre for the benefit of the wider community.
The construction of the facility created up to 250 employment opportunities and, once fully operational, will create 87 full time jobs as well as apprenticeship positions.