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Viridor takes on Somerset's waste

Somerset County Council has confirmed its decision to enter into new, long term waste management contracts with Viridor Waste Management.

Negotiations are being finalised after the Council’s executive board decided to accept a bid that includes the Council’s interests in Wyvern Waste, the disposal company it formed in 1992.

Deputy leader of the council, Jill Shortland said: “We have had productive discussions with Viridor. The proposals we are moving forward on will provide continued excellent waste services for the people of Somerset. We have negotiated a fair price for our shareholding in Wyvern Waste and wish them well under their new owners.”

Taunton-based Viridor will be responsible for developing new waste treatment facilities, ensuring the council is not caught by penalties imposed by Government on authorities that consign high proportions of their waste to landfill.

Shortland added: “Viridor will provide the essential investment needed to develop waste services further and the partnership will be strong and more than capable of working with us to meet the difficult challenges in waste management that lie ahead.”

While Wyvern will change hands, it will continue to provide essential services that cover household waste recycling centres, composting, landfill sites, waste transfer stations and managing hazardous and electrical waste.

Viridor managing director Mike Hellings said: “We now look forward to successfully finalising the negotiations, welcoming on board the staff of Wyvern, and working closely with the county in years to come to meet common aims and objectives.”

After detailed meetings between the executive board and the scrutiny committee, the transfer is anticipated to be effective from April 2006.

Chairman of the scrutiny committee Andrew Govier said: “I am pleased that through robust questioning and detailed analysis, the Scrutiny Committee has been able to ensure that the final proposals represent a good deal for the council tax payers of Somerset.”

Because of high levels of recycling locally, a new waste treatment facility Viridor is planning won’t come on stream before 2010 after a full programme of public consultation.

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