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Battle for Oxfordshire's EfW contract hots up

Locations for Oxfordshires proposed energy from waste (EfW) plants have been revealed as the bidding battle to win the countys residual household waste tender heats up.

Viridor Waste Management and the Waste Recycling Group (WRG) are fighting to win the contracts to treat the countys non-recyclable material. Viridor wants to build its EfW plant at Ardley in the north of the county, while WRG has named Sutton Courtenay near Didcot as its site.

Earlier this year a tendering process started and companies were invited to propose bids for treating Oxfordshire's residual household waste. The county council said it wanted value for money and safe systems but did not specify which technology should be used.

Now, both companies will submit their proposals in more detail and, following evaluation, one will be chosen. The decision will be announced early in 2009.

The two proposed sites already house landfill facilities and both will benefit from landfill reduction, whichever site wins the tender.

Each company will need to apply for planning permission for its proposals, and this will be subject to full consultation.

Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP) chairman councillor Kieron Mallon said: "The OWP recognises that despite the excellent recycling and waste minimisation performance across the county, waste treatment is essential in meeting service, environmental and budget targets.

Sustainable Development cabinet member Roger Belson said: "Even the best countries in Europe only recycle 50 to 60% of waste and need to have an alternative way of disposing of waste than landfill. We are in the same boat.

Image: An EfW plant, like SELCHP in London, will produce energy from residential residual waste.

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