A new procurement process has started to find a ten-year waste contractor for west Cheshire following the collapse of a 25-year PFI project due to government cuts.
Members of Cheshire West & Chester Council's executive approved a recommendation to procure a new contract earlier this week. No preferred solution has been put forward and the procurement exercise will be open to all suppliers.
The new contract would run for a maximum of 10 years and cover the treatment process, provision of waste transfer stations and haulage arrangements. It would take effect following the expiry of the current landfill contract in March 2014.
Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for community and environment, said: "Procurement for this contract will take a very different approach to the PFI which was a lengthy, highly prescriptive process, dependent on high levels of subsidy.
"This time we do not have to specify a preferred solution which means we can take full advantage of the market and range of technologies to find the best solution for Cheshire West – a process that served us well with our waste collection contract.
"Since we inherited the current waste strategy from the legacy authorities, there have been marked changes in our recycle, reduce and re-use agenda, and we are producing less waste every year.
"Our new waste collection contract will drive our recycling rates from 49% today to 63% in the first year, and we have ambitions to move to 70% within five years.
"This has significantly affected the tonnages that we are now looking to dispose of."
Cllr David Robinson, opposition spokesman on community and environment, said: "We are all disappointed that we have to re-start this process following the collapse of the PFI project. On the issue of cost, it would be useful to know how many waste facilities are set to come on stream in the next five or 10 years as this will influence what we pay for this contract."