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Waste PFIs slammed as UK limps towards 2010

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES must avoid bundling waste services into large private nance initiative (PFI) packages if they are to hit European waste targets in 2010, a leading waste consultant warned this week.

LR consulting technical director Andy Street said councils should follow the advice of the National Audit Of ce and the Office of Government Commerce and split up construction of waste facilities in a way that allows smaller projects such as compost facilities to come online quicker.

'Typically waste PFI contracts are huge, ranging between £1bn and £2bn. It takes such a long time from tender to when the contracts are actually signed and the delivery of facilities is affordable, ' said Street.

'This means that smaller parts of the waste infrastructure cannot be delivered because everything is tied into the one big contract.' At the current rate of construction of new waste facilities, Street said the UK would fail to meet its 2010 EU target of only land filling 75% of 1995 levels of landlled municipal waste.

Street will be speaking at NCE's Managing Waste conference on 26 September.

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