Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have signed a 25 year contract with a consortium of Urbaser and Balfour Beatty for the treatment of residual waste.
The Urbaser Balfour Beatty consortium will build a Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility which will treat household waste collected at the kerbside, trade waste collected by Essex local authorities, street sweepings and all non-recyclable waste from recycling centres across Essex and Southend.
The two councils’ Essex Waste Partnership has been allocated £100.9M of Waste Infrastructure Credits - previously referred to as PFI credits - by the government to help fund the new waste facility.
Subject to gaining planning permission, the new facility will be built on a site at Courtauld Road in Basildon. The proposed facility will be capable of treating up to 417,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year. As well as treating waste the facility incorporate a visitor and education centre for the benefit of the wider community.
Construction will begin in early 2013, with the facility becoming fully operational in summer 2015.
The MBT facility will utilise a process that allows recyclable materials – such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics and glass – to be recovered from waste. The remaining waste then goes through a ‘bio-stabilisation’ process. After six weeks the waste becomes ‘stabilised’, meaning it cannot be broken down or decomposed any further. Following the removal of aggregate materials it can then be safely landfilled or used as a solid recovered fuel in energy plants.