WELSH CONTRACTORS say they are losing brownfield remediation projects to English rivals because Wales has no hazardous waste disposal facilities.
Co-disposal landfi lls all over the UK were closed in July last year when the EU Landfill Directive came into force. Welsh waste must now be treated on site or shipped out of the country.
Obtaining a licence to treat waste on site is time-consuming and with few developers are willing to wait, shipping is the only realistic option.
This goes against the 'proximity principle' embedded in the government's waste strategy and has pushed disposal costs up from £20-£30/t to £100-£120/t.
Shipping puts English firms at an advantage as many have 'links' with private sites, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Wales has alleged.
'With no hazardous landfill left in Wales, tenderers are having to find sites in England to dispose of it, ' said CECA Wales director Byron Broadstock.
'Often it's the contractor with the best links with these facilities who wins the projects. Welsh contractors are at a disadvantage if they're not familiar with the sites in England.' The nearest facility to Wales is in Swindon, but Broadstock cited a recently let Welsh Development Agency remediation project in Abercwmboi, South Wales that will see waste sent 460km to Teesside.
Leeds-based contractor VHE Construction beat South Wales contractor Walters UK to the £12.4M deal. VHE proposes sending some material to a privately owned facility and the rest to a merchant landfill in Teesside.