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Suez lands Manchester waste deal

Suez has won the lengthy competition to deliver waste services to Greater Manchester, 18 months after Viridor Laing’s PFI deal was terminated.

Berkshire-based Suez Recycling and Recovery UK will take on waste and resource management services for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on 1 June, subject to the completion of procurement formalities.

The company will also be in charge of household waste recycling centre (HWRC) management from that date, handling refuse from more than a million households in the north-west. 

Duties are understood to include operation of 20 HWRCs, eight transfer loading stations, five residual waste sites, a thermal recovery facility and a MRF. The deal is for seven years with the possible extension of a further three.

Suez saw off competition from shortlisted firms Veolia, Viridor, FCC Environment, Biffa and Biowise to win the work through a competition launched in 2017.

Suez recycling and recovery UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones (pictured) said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as preferred tenderer. We look forward to working with the GMCA in this new partnership once the procurement process has been finalised.”

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority – which last spring transferred all its duties and powers to the combined authority – said in 2017 that it was ending its troubled £3.8bn PFI contract by acquiring Viridor Laing for £1. It later emerged that the combined authority borrowed £500m to pay its way out of that doomed deal.

Viridor will deliver waste services in Manchester until the end of May. The company took itself out of the running for the replacement contract.

A spokesperson said: ”Viridor took the decision to withdraw from the Greater Manchester waste procurement process…for commercial reasons and to focus on other market opportunities.

”Viridor looks forward to supporting an orderly and smooth transfer to the successful bidder. Viridor employees will be transferred to the chosen contractor under TUPE regulations, retaining their existing terms and conditions, and with their past service pension entitlements protected.

”Viridor’s other separate agreements with the GMCA are unaffected and continue as normal. These include a 25-year contract to process residual waste at the Runcorn energy recovery facility, which has 17 years more to run, with an option to extend for a further 15 years.”


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