Eight bidders have been shortlisted for a £73.5 million private finance initiative waste contract with South Tyne and Wear Waste Partnership.
Last July, the partnership was awarded the PFI credits to treat up to 200,000 tonnes of residual waste. Using new techniques of recovery, the partnership aims to save taxpayers about £300m over the 25-year contract.
Shortlisted bidders include:
* Graphite Resources;
* MVV Umwelt;
* SITA UK;
* United Utilities Networks;
* Urbaser SA;
* Veolia; and
* VT Environmental.
The facility is expected to open by 2014. In the meantime, the partnership will introduce a new, improved kerbside recycling collection system from April 2010.
Gateshead Council group director local environment services John Robinson said: We are committed to doubling our recycling rates to 50% by 2020, as an absolute minimum. We then have to treat the rubbish that cannot be recycled, and its up to us to find the best solution best in terms of the environment, performance of the technology, how it is delivered and cost to the public.
Gateshead Council will decide next week whether to buy a vacant industrial site as a possible location for the waste facilities. The council said the site at Felling, Gateshead, could be one of three possible locations offered to bidders.
Robinson said: We are talking to a range of leading specialists to find the best solution for us. They may already have their own site or use an existing treatment facility but we need to suggest a possible site as an option.
We are considering all types of technologies to find the best solution for our residents.