Four bidders progress in waste procurement process

Four bidders have been invited to submit detailed proposals for treatment facilities to deal with 200,000 tonnes of household waste that is currently sent to landfill every year.

Resources from Waste, Viridor, Veolia and Waste Recycling Group have successfully made it through to the ‘Invitation to Submit Detailed Solutions’ (ISDS) stage of the South London Waste Partnership’s procurement process.

The South London Waste Partnership is a joint initiative between Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton councils. The key objective for the South London Waste Partnership is to stop household rubbish that is generated by residents of the four boroughs ending up in landfill sites.

For many years landfill has been recognised as being an environmentally unsustainable way of dealing with our waste, with rotting waste releasing climate-changing gasses. Ever-increasing taxes being placed on landfill is also making it a financially prohibitive option for local authorities.

Councillor David Simpson, Merton’s cabinet member for environment and leisure services and a member of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee, said: “The South London Waste Partnership is committed to encouraging residents of the four boroughs to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as they can. We have already awarded major contracts for recycling and composting services and facilities that will help the four councils continue the progress already being made in this area. But after we’ve reduced, reused and recycled as much as we can, it is inevitable that there is going to be some waste left over.

“There are environmental and financial reasons why we cannot continue to bury this waste in landfill. We must do something more innovative and sustainable with it and that’s what this latest contract is all about: Putting in place modern and technically-advanced waste treatment facilities that will come into operation in 2014 and allow us to finally end our reliance on landfill.”

Strict procurement rules mean that the South London Waste Partnership must remain technology-neutral during the tendering process. But the Partnership has made it clear that if any bidder proposes to use thermal treatment, they must allow for the recovery of energy from waste and seek to provide efficient heat off-take for local use. All four boroughs are firmly against poor-performing, outdated technologies such as old-fashioned mass-burn incineration, which are visually intrusive and release high levels of noxious emissions.

The procurement process began in May 2009, when waste operators were invited to complete a detailed Pre-Qualification Questionnaire which assessed potential bidders’ legal and financial positions as well as their technical capacity. The results were used to select seven companies who were invited to submit ‘Outline Solutions’ in August 2009.

Several months of discussions and negotiations between the bidders and the SLWP Procurement Team have resulted in four bidders being invited to the next stage of the procurement process. These bidders will now put together detailed solutions before two of the four are chosen to submit ‘Final Tenders’. The contract is due to be awarded to the successful bidder in the Spring of 2011.