Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Manchester Builds a Greener Future

Greetings,

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority have finally announced the signing of the deal with Viridor Laing to build and run Materials Recovery Facilities, Anaerobic Digestion Facilities and Combined Heat & Power Facilities as their press release announced last week:

"Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) today announced that it has signed a 25 year Private Finance Initiative waste and recycling contract with Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited. Today’s deal will trigger a £640 million construction programme, creating a network of state-of-the-art recycling facilities over the next 5 years."

It is estimated that the construction of the facilities will bring at least 5000 new jobs into the North West along with a further 116 when the facilities are in place and operational.

Whilst the RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) aspect of the proposals is less desirable in my view, the keys to making it more sustainable are a) for the GMWDA to genuinely, with partners Viridor, to influence waste minimisation across Greater Manchester - thereby reducing waste especially the non-recyclable/compostable elements; and b) to try to minimise the toxicity of the residual waste which will become a RDF product - the cleaner the garbage in the cleaner the garbage out i.e. into the air/water/land - again it's all down to education and procurement/production.

Amazing that Manchester is finally getting the large scale capital investment it deserves and which will not only help to improve local employment but strategically will have a massive long term effect on recycling and sustainable waste management levels in the conurbation . Well done to the GMWDA team who've pulled off this investment at a time of great financial difficulty, I know they've all worked incredibly hard to make it happen - full marks to those dedicated people.

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

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