GMWDA set to overspend by £2.5 million
Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) is forecast to overspend by as much as £2.5 million by the end of the year, according to a report presented to the authority’s Resources Committee this week (January 19).
The report states the actual overspend for the April to November 2015 period is £1.94 million but due to under-spending in other areas, it is offset to £765,000.
This over-spend has been explained partly by limited functioning of its anaerobic digestion facilities, resulting in an increased amount of refuse-derived fuel (RDF). In addition, changes in government policies have increased taxes and running costs.
As a result, there has been an increased flow of residual waste going to RDF, for which the authority has to pay for access to Runcorn Thermal Power Station. However, the report states that this is still cheaper than sending the refuse straight to landfill.
In addition, an increase in insurance premium tax, from six to 9.5 per cent on 1 November 2015, was blamed for upping running costs.
Other measures have had an effect on costs, such as the removal of the Climate Change Levy exemption for the production of renewable energy, in effect from August 2015, and an increase of reported fires within facilities in the waste industry, which has increased insurance premiums.
The GMWDA provides services for managing the 1.1 million tonnes of recycling and waste produced by over one million households across nine district councils. It has, over the last five years, developed 43 recycling facilities at a cost of over £631 million to progress towards sending zero waste to landfill in Greater Manchester.
The latest of these facilities, built in conjunction with Viridor Laing, with which the authority signed a 25-year contract worth an estimated £3.2 billion in 2009, was officially opened last week.
The facility in Over Hulton, Bolton, includes a solar farm that will produce around two million kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power around 600 homes, every year, as well as a household waste recycling centre and transfer loading station.
The GMWDA has set a target of 50 per cent recycling by the end of 2015/16, with landfill diversion of 90 per cent by 2020. In its 2014/15 annual report it stated that it had achieved a recycling and composting rate of 41 per cent, with a 74 per cent landfill diversion rate (a 20 per cent increase from 2013/14).
The GMWDA budget report can be found at the authority’s website.