French-owned Sita UK poised to land £900m waste deal

 

French-owned utility firm Sita UK is set to take over the disposal of rubbish in west London in a £900 million scheme that will mean 300,000 tonnes of trash a year are no longer sent to landfill.

Sita UK, part of Suez Environnement, is leading a consortium that plans to collect the waste from six boroughs and burn it in a new purpose-built electricity plant in Gloucestershire.

The six councils — Richmond-upon-Thames, Ealing, Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow — are responsible for collecting rubbish from 1.4 million people, living in 600,000 households.

At present, the boroughs send waste that cannot be recycled to four landfill sites in Abingdon, Bicester, Calvert and Bletchley.

Sita UK and its partners, Lloyds Banking Group and Japan’s Itochu Corporation, plan to transport the rubbish by rail from collection points in Brentford and South Ruislip to Severnside, an industrial zone in Gloucestershire.

The consortium has been given preferred bidder status by the six boroughs, known as the West London Waste Authority, but it must still win final approval for the deal, which would be worth £900 million over 25 years.

Sita UK reckons its consortium could earn extra cash by selling the electricity that is generated from the burnt waste.

Around 50 permanent jobs will be created, with another 200 temporary construction workers needed to build the £240 million electricity plant. Incinerating 300,000 tonnes of waste a year should create enough power for 50,000 homes.

Bassam Mahfouz, chair of WLWA, said: “For too long we in west London have been sending the waste we didn’t recycle to pile up in landfills. This new contract means that virtually nothing will be sent to landfill.”

Mayor Boris Johnson wants to slash landfill. Nearly half of London’s municipal waste is sent to landfill.

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