Two companies are being considered by Wakefield Council for the districts first ever waste management Private Finance Initiative to improve waste recycling, treatment and disposal over the next 25 years. VT Group and Waste Recycling Group are competing to become preferred bidder for the scheme, which has secured £33 million of Government funds. Three companies, the third being Veolia Environmental Services, submitted best and final offers at the end of March but after evaluation the council deselected Veolia. The council is negotiating with the final bidders to discuss outstanding commercial issues before reassessing the bids. It is expected that the decision will be made in October. Following the appointment, final negotiations will be completed by February 2008 and the new contract should start in May 2008. The overall cost for waste services during the 25 year contract period will be about £850 million. Council waste services manager John Skidmore said: This is a very exciting time as we are nearing the end the process to decide the future of waste management across the district. We are considering two strong bids that we believe can help us achieve EU and UK Government targets, increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.