Four agreements have been signed with Biffa, Veolia, Viridor Waste Management and Waste Recycling Group (WRG). Biffas Roxby, Humberside, landfill site will take 400,000 tonnes of waste in 2008-09, falling to 300,000 tonnes in the following two years, while Veolias Highmoor site near Oldham will accept 100,000 tonnes in 2008-09, dropping to 75,000 tonnes for the next three years. Viridors Pilsworth landfill facility near Bury will handle a minimum of 100,000 tonnes over the same four-year period, while WRG will take a minimum of 200,000 tonnes at its Arpley, Cheshire, operation in 2008-09, halving to 100,000 tonnes by 2010-11.
GMWDA says the contracts reflect the declining need for landfill as recycling and composting rates increase across Greater Manchester. Plans for new mechanical and biological treatment and anaerobic digestion facilities are expected to generate power from much of the remaining municipal waste.
The contracts mean waste for landfill will continue to be transported by train and options to extend the Roxby and Arpley contracts when new waste diversion facilities come on stream are also based on using rail for transport of material from other treatment processes.
Chair of the authority Cllr Neil Swannick said: We must arrange for the safe disposal of the 1.4 million tonnes of municipal waste that is generated in Greater Manchester every year while minimising the environmental impact and pressing down on costs. These contracts will allow us to secure the environmental benefits of rail transport and will save local council tax payers £9 million per year compared with what we expected to have to pay.
GMWDA provides waste disposal services for 958,000 households in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford.