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News round-up 6/1

Soros buys into FCC; Sussex incinerator objection; Melrose sheds waste business; Gloucestershire inquiry resumes; Christmas tree recycling

Soros buys stake in FCC

George Soros has bought a stake in Spain’s FCC, becoming the second prominent international investor after Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to bet on the indebted construction company in less than three months.

Funds associated with Soros, the hedge fund philanthropist famed for making billions through currency speculation, bought a 3.1% stake in FCC from the company’s biggest shareholder and philanthropist Esther Koplowitz last week, several people familiar with the deal said.

Sussex councillors object to waste plan

Strong objections to a proposed waste plant at Ford have been made by parish councillors.

They have told West Sussex County Council the scheme by Grundon Waste Management should be scrapped and listed 39 reasons.

Grundon wants to build the incinerator at the former Tarmac Topblock site on Ford Airfield Industrial Estate for 250,000 tonnes of waste a year to be delivered by 54 lorries daily.

Parish council clerk Lisa Wilcock, in a letter to the county council which will decide the matter, states: “This is in addition to the 100,000 tonnes agreed at the Viridor site (also in Ford).

“Add to this the other waste sites that are currently operating at Ford. The narrow roads and lanes are incapable of safely dealing with additional traffic.”

Melrose sells waste management group Harris               

Warwickshire-based manufacturing specialist Melrose Industries PLC has sold the US-based Harris Waste Management Group to Avis Industrial Corporation.

Melrose said Harris was expected to have achieved unaudited turnover of approximately £30m and an operating profit of approximately £900,000 in 2013.

Gloucestershire incinerator inquiry to resume

An inquiry into plans to build an energy-from-waste plant in Gloucestershire will resume its proceedings next week.

Urbaser Balfor Beatty’s controversial £500m plans for the energy-from-waste plant at Javelin Park, near junction 12 of the M5, were refused by county councillors in 2013 but the firm appealed and a planning inquiry began in December.

The inquiry, which is being held at the Hallmark Hotel, in Matson, will resume on 14 January.

Councils gear up for Christmas tree recycling push

As people take down their Christmas trees, local authorities across the land have sprung into action to offer collection or drop-off services so trees can be recycled.

Recycling Christmas trees ultimately saves taxpayers money by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. The Local Government Association estimates it costs the taxpayer nearly £100 for every 40 trees sent to landfill. But by recycling Christmas trees instead of landfilling or incinerating them, councils are cutting these costs in half.


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