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Veolia bags Bedford waste deal

Veolia has been appointed to manage the waste contracts for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils.

The councils have been taking part in a procurement process with the current contracts to treat residents black bin residual waste coming to an end.

The process received only two bids, both of which included the waste being treated at the controversial Energy Recovery Facility at Rookery South near Stewartby.

Veolia was awarded the contract on the basis that its bid represented the “best option in terms of quality and price, saving the councils over £1,000,000 per year”.

The incinerated black bin waste will help towards generating electricity equivalent to meet the needs of 112,500 homes.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment at Bedford Borough Council said:  “As a Council we were strongly against this facility being built at Rookery South, which was approved by national government in the face of strong opposition from both local people and the two local councils. Indeed Bedford Borough Council provided financial support to try and stop the facility being built.

“Veolia was the company selected under the strict government procurement regulations because they offered best value. The council has no alternative since we need to have in place a way of disposing of our waste from over 75,000 households and businesses across the Borough.

“This is for black bag waste and will not compromise the council’s efforts in increasing recycling going into the future. We carry out a fortnightly recycling collection and we would always encourage residents to reduce the waste they create, reuse what they can, and recycle as much as possible. These are simple steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the planet.”

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire’s Executive Member for Community Services, said: “The facility at Rookery South was approved by national government in the face of strong opposition from both local people and both councils.

“But in awarding the contract we were also aware that Rookery South’s operator has started to allocate the waste disposal capacity to various waste producers, such as local authorities, and waste could be brought into Bedfordshire from further away.

“Using a local facility means that waste that we collect uses this capacity rather than sending it to facilities further away. Its location in Bedfordshire means we can directly deliver our waste to the plant, lowering emissions from transporting the waste when it becomes operational in 2021.”

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