Waste firm backed as preferred bidder

SHAUN LOWTHORPE Moves to reduce Norfolk's landfill mountain using a form of industrial composting took a further step forward today.

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Moves to reduce Norfolk's landfill mountain using a form of industrial composting took a further step forward today.

Members of the county council's planning, transportation and environment committee backed a proposal to award preferred bidder status to waste firm SRM - ahead of a controversial rival bid for an incinerator.

The company is proposing to treat 150,000 tonnes of waste a year using a combination of 'mechanical biological treatment' and anaerobic digestion at a new factory at Longwater industrial estate in Costessey, near Norwich.

The facility will operate next to the current material recycling facility operated by Norfolk Environmental Waste Services, which is one of the firms behind the SRM bid.

The widely-expected decision followed a two-hour meeting at County Hall, yesterday, which saw previous front runner WRG's plans for an incinerator at the former Anglian Water treatment works at Trowse, kept on as reserve bidder in case SRM fails to close the deal.

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However councillors said that WRG's plans could only be considered if the firm addressed a number of “fundamental issues” linked to its proposal.

The ruling cabinet will now consider the panel's recommendations on March 5 ahead of a final contract being agreed and ratified by the full council.