Lancashire councils opt for MBT

Councils in Lancashire have won £75 million in PFI credits to implement a municipal waste strategy that includes the building of four mechanical/biological treatment plants.

Common in other European countries for many years, MBT is an alternative to incineration for the large-scale treatment of mixed household refuse. In recent months, planning permission has been granted to Shanks for MBT plants in East London and Milton Keynes (ENDS Report 346, p 20 ).

The Lancashire Waste Partnership, which includes the county council, the 12 district councils in the county and the adjoining unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, have drawn up a waste strategy that aims to recycle or compost 56% of municipal waste within 25 years, and to avoid the need for any new incinerators.

As well as traditional material recycling facilities for co-mingled collections and composting of green waste, the partnership intends to build MBT plants in Fylde, Lancaster, east Lancashire and Leyland, near Preston.

Plans for the Leyland plant are most advanced, with the 120,000 tonnes per year facility currently the subject of a tender evaluation down to the last two bidders. Two of the other plants would be of comparable size, with the Lancaster facility smaller-scale.

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