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WRG loses preferred bidder status

The Waste Recycling Group (WRG) has been told that it is no longer the preferred bidder to provide Norfolk County Council (NCC) with key recycling services.

A unanimous decision was made by the councils waste project board concerning treatment services and infrastructure for part of the countys residual household waste.

After careful consideration of the progress being made by WRG on issues relating to the provision of land for the proposed facility, the company was issued with a deadline.

Despite its best efforts, this passed and a letter was sent to WRG informing it that the council had reopened negotiations with its reserve bidder Sustainable Resource Management (SRM).

This process could lead to SRM being selected as preferred bidder and subsequently awarded a contract, depending on the outcome of negotiations.

NCC cabinet member for environment and waste Ian Monson said: We have had to take this action because we cannot afford to wait indefinitely. We still aim to meet our target of having a residual waste treatment facility in Norfolk up and running by 2010.

We have looked very closely at the situation and strongly believe that this is the right decision to take. It is important that we do everything we can to use this opportunity to our advantage so that our negotiations in the coming months put us in the best possible position.

While the situation suggests SRM is now in the driving seat, WRG is not out of the race yet. It may develop its bid still further, while the council has asked to be kept informed of any developments.

NCC director of planning and transportation Mike Jackson said: Earlier in this process we fully evaluated the bids, which proposed using a range of technologies to treat residual waste. Our evaluation looked at many factors, including issues like land, environmental performance, cost, technical performance and planning issues.

Delivering a project of this nature is always going to be a very complex and lengthy process. We have always made sure that we have also kept a robust bidder in reserve.

The SRM bid was a strong bid, capable of meeting our requirements and we look forward to exploring it in more detail with them. We have also asked WRG to keep us in touch with their progress.

A WRG spokesman said: WRG understands NCCs decision, as there is a need to provide new facilities quickly in order to avoid fines based upon the extent of diversion of waste from landfill.

Until final proposals have been submitted, and the county council has appointed a preferred bidder for the contract, WRG will be making no further public statement.



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