£143m cash boost for north Wales waste plan

Tractor on landfill site Landfill is no longer seen as an option for dealing with residual waste

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Up to £143m has been pledged over the next 25 years by the assembly government to help manage waste in north Wales that cannot be recycled.

Contractors are now being sought to handle waste across the region in a deal which could be worth up to £800m over the same period.

The cash will go towards the North Wales Residual Treatment Project.

The partnership is made up of Anglesey, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Denbighshire and Conwy councils.

The total amount given would depend on the final cost of the project, but at present the assembly government plans to award £5.75m per full operational year.

In the past the partnership has said using landfill was no longer a sustainable option for dealing with waste that is impossible to recycle, or compost.

It submitted a bid asking for money to help it come up with a solution to handling that "residual" waste - about 150,000 tonnes each year.

The councils say they want to find an environmentally sustainable way to treat left over waste across the region.

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Continuing to landfill is not affordable, financially or environmentally”

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The partnership estimates that 70 per cent of household rubbish in north Wales should be recycled by 2025 - but that still leaves 30 per cent which needs to be treated, and landfill is not an option.

The assembly government has already set targets for councils to send only 5 per cent of rubbish to landfill by 2025 under its Towards Zero Waste strategy.

Wrexham, the only north Wales council not in the partnership, said it has its own stand-alone waste facility.

The assembly government cash will be delivered in the form of a £5.72 million subsidy each year over the service period of the contract - and would be worth a maximum of £142.7m over a 25-year term.

Flintshire chief executive Colin Everett described the funding as "excellent news".

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"It means we can take time to ensure that we purchase the best treatment technology available to meet the needs of North Wales."

The assembly government said the level of grant is based on a projection of the estimated cost of providing the facility and will vary in line with the actual costs when the project is commissioned.

A spokesperson said: "Funding from the Welsh Assembly Government has been made available to the north Wales hub of local authorities to pave the way for the next generation of environmentally-friendly recycling plants that will generate energy from waste.

"This joint initiative will look at the best way to dispose of municipal waste that can't be recycled or composted.

"Other local authorities are also working jointly in consortia to secure essential waste treatment facilities and additional funding support will be available to them on the same basis.

"This significant investment means Wales can continue to lead the waste and recycling agenda. Continuing to landfill is not affordable, financially or environmentally."

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