The 25-year deal is expected to create 80 jobs and will see Biffa develop a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility to recover value from around 300,000 tonnes of residual waste. The plant will be built at Biffas current landfill site in Warnham, near Horsham.
Viridor went head-to-head with Biffa to compete for the waste contract but lost out. The contract, known as the Materials Resource Management Contract (MRMC), is due to be let in spring 2009.
Viridor is extremely disappointed not to have been selected as the MRMC contractor by WSCC, said regional director Graham Warren.
We submitted a strong bid and remain available as reserve bidder. We wish Biffa and WSCC every success.
A WSCC spokesman said that a non-incineration process was the preferred option of both the council and the public to process the residual waste into energy production.
WSCC head of waste management Philip Russell said: West Sussex has always promised its residents it would be a leader in waste prevention and recycling by turning rubbish into a resource todays announcement fulfils that pledge.
Biffa chief executive Andre Horbach said: Were delighted to have been selected as WSCCs preferred bidder. We now look forward to working with the authority over the next six months to develop a facility that will, through resource recovery and energy production, recover value from waste that is being landfilled.
WSCC and Biffa will enter into final negotiations to agree a contract that both will aim to sign before the end of March 2009. If Biffa is successful in obtaining planning permission then the facility could be built and operational by 2014.
Image: Artist's impression of Horsham MBT facility