PROPOSALS are being considered by Stratford District Council (SDC) to join other local authorities in building a £35million recycling superplant in Coventry.
SDC’s ruling cabinet will next week consider investing in the Regional Materials Recycling Facility alongside authorities in Solihull, Nuneaton and Bedworth, North Warwickshire, Rugby and Walsall.
SDC’s current contract with Biffa – which sees some 15,000 tonnes of recycling a year delivered to Ettington – will end in 2022.
The aim is for councils to save money on the rising costs of sending recycled waste for processing at private sector facilities.
An SDC Cabinet report states: “When this contract (the current BIffa agreement) expires SDC will need to make new arrangements for the reprocessing of material, and evidence from recent procurement exercises in both Coventry and neighbouring authorities shows that this upward trend of cost is likely to continue, with substantial rises as the private sector continue to move the risk of end market prices and legislation more and more to local authorities.”
A business plan includes development costs shared between councils of £2.8million, in addition to council loans to the facility of £31.6million.
SDC would loan £5million to fund plant operator AssetCo, and a share of development costs would be taken from the authority’s reserves.
Coventry Council would contribute £9.7million, resulting in a 27 per cent ownership of the facility – based on tonnage proportions.
It estimates it could half its bill to around £800,000 a year, while making money on council loans and leasing the land.
The plant – which could process up to 175,000 tonnes a year – would be built on former allotment land of around eight acres in Coventry city centre.
Coventry Council spokeswoman Coun Patricia Hetherton said: “The market for recyclable materials is very unpredictable. As a result, the private sector is charging higher and higher prices for the treatment and disposal of the recycling that we collect from blue lidded bins. By opening this facility and taking greater control over the process, we can cut significant costs.”
The report added the facility would also allow the partner local authorities greater control over the region’s recyclable materials.