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Greater Manchester collection levy to match inflation

The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) has said that savings from the termination of its contract with the Viridor-John Laing (VJL) joint venture has permitted a standstill budget from April, and will tie the levy on its nine partner councils to the rate of inflation.

The authority has approved a budget for 2018-19 of £91.893m, which restores £77.7m which had been due to be levied until the districts objected to the higher costs and the VJL contract was cancelled in 2017.

The GMWDA said future levies will increase broadly in line with inflation, with the medium-term projections being 3% in 2019-20, 1.7% in 2020-21 and 1.6% in 2021-22.

Greater Manchester is the UK’s largest combined waste authority, serving 2.2 million people and handling in excess of one million tonnes a year of material, around 4% of England’s waste.

On 1 April, the authority will become part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. GMWDA chair Nigel Murphy said: “The budget for 2018-19 contains savings delivered from [our] move away from a PFI arrangement to one that has allowed us to take back control to drive savings – initially on debt financing, but also by changing the way that waste is processed.

“In line with these savings and, despite a reduction in the budget, very high levels of recycling and diversion continue to be achieved. We are well on track with our aim to reach 60% recycling by 2025 and 90% landfill diversion by 2021.”

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