A NEW method for dealing with West Norfolk’s black bin waste moved a step closer this week with a decision to continue contract negotiations with Material Works.
Material Works (a company set up by Duratrust, the organisation behind the innovative technology) was selected as the preferred bidder following a failed procurement process.
Cllr Nick Daubney, Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, said: “Following a public meeting last April, we determined that we needed to find ways to bring about a step-change in recycling. We knew there had to be alternatives to landfill and incineration and I believe our officers have found a technology which is affordable, sustainable and more environmentally friendly.”
Last night’s decision gives officers the ability to continue with detailed negotiations and also marks the start of a public engagement programme, giving local people a real opportunity to have a say on the proposals.
Cllr Daubney added: “It is of the utmost importance that people feel that they have had an opportunity to voice their opinions – whether in favour or against this proposal - and that they have been listened to. We truly believe that this new technology could see over 90% of west Norfolk’s black bin waste recycled. If local people support the initiative, it could bring 200-300 jobs – from manual labour jobs through to manufacturing, admin and management jobs. The process is clean and cost effective and could result in a saving for Norfolk tax payers. If it was rolled out across Norfolk we estimate that it could save in excess of £11m on top of the savings already declared by Norfolk County Council in respect of the incinerator.”
The borough council will be speaking to other district councils to see if they wish to have a similar facility to deal with their black bin waste. Cllr Daubney added: “Waste technologies are moving at such a pace, we think it is important that we are ahead of the game. Recycling our waste into useable products has to be the way forward. We would like to impress upon Norfolk County Council that it is not too late to get involved. They have always claimed that they do not have a choice – we believe they do and that now is the time to grasp this opportunity.”
Contract negotiations will now continue with Material Works with a view to a final report being presented to Cabinet once contract negotiations have concluded and the findings of the public engagement work have been assessed. Cllr Daubney was keen to reassure people that the project would only go ahead if there is real public support in the borough for this course of action.