Lancashire County Council To Mothball PFI Waste Facilities

Lancashire County Council (LCC) has confirmed that it will mothball its waste recovery parks at Leyland and Thornton.

Instead of waste material being treated on the sites, it will be taken to other locations for disposal.

The Global Renewables facilities are set to primarily act as waste transfer stations and an in-vessel composting line will be wound down, the council confirmed last week, according to reports by the Daily Mail.

The recovery parks receive, store, treat and transport 240,000 tonnes of residual waste, 66,000 tonnes of organic waste and 78,000 tonnes of recyclate as part of a £2bn private finance initiative (PFI) contract between LCC and Blackpool Borough Council.

The proposals were announced in February, as part of a £8.5m waste services shake-up. As a result more than 250 jobs could be lost.

The redundancies, decommissioning and contract breakage costs are estimated to cost £4.5m, which will be covered by reserves, totalling £7.75m in the first year and £4.5m in the second.

In February, Lancashire County Council spokesperson said: “There will be no change to the way we deal with the recycling picked up from households, which accounts for the vast majority of the waste we currently recycle, and separate facilities will be put in place to continue composting any garden waste collected.

“However, the residual waste people put in their black bin bags would be transferred from refuse collection vehicles into larger loads and onto third party contractors to recycle or dispose of.”

The PFI deal between the council and Global Renewables was one of the biggest of its kind in the UK.

In 2014, Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council terminated the contract just three years into the deal, announcing they had taken over the facilities and operating company.

The two councils took over ownership and responsibility for running the MRFs at Thornton and Farington after the 25-year contract with Global Renewables Lancashire Limited was terminated with the mutual agreement of the company, its shareholders and partners.

By restructuring the financing for the sites, the councils said they would jointly save more than £12m per year over what would have been the remaining 22 years of the
 contract.

The local authority currently has a recycling rate of around 47%.

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