Construction work has begun on one of Cumbria County Councils mechanical biological treatment plants at Hespin Wood near Carlisle.
It is one of the major waste treatment facilities being developed by waste firm Shanks under its £720 million PFI waste treatment contract with Cumbria County Council. The development is one of two planned MBT facilities being developed in Cumbria by Shanks under the 25-year waste contract.
Representatives from the county council and Shanks attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the Hespin Wood site to mark the beginning of work on the MBT facility.
Cumbria County Council leader Jim Buchanan said: Our contract with Shanks really will revolutionise the way we deal with waste in Cumbria and ensure we have a greener, more cost-effective system of managing rubbish for years to come.
Shanks are also developing and managing Cumbrias existing household waste recycling centres.
Cumbria County Council deputy leader Stewart Young said: We are no longer able to simply send large amounts of waste to landfill. The two MBT plants, at Hespin Wood and Barrow, are the key component of the landmark deal weve signed and the fact building work has now started is excellent news.
Shanks Group chief executive Tom Drury said: We are delighted to have commenced construction of this facility which will play a major part in enabling Cumbria to divert 67 per cent of its household waste from landfill by 2015, meeting Government targets.