East London Waste Authority launches major waste treatment procurement

East London Waste Authority (ELWA) has initiated a procurement process for a new residual waste treatment contract, setting out plans for its future strategy.

Aerial shot of East LondonThe contract - offered in three lots - will be set for an initial period of ten years, with potential extensions of up to five years. ELWA estimates this will need to manage 330,000 tonnes of residual waste annually, but notably is not guaranteeing minimum tonnages to bidders. Instead, successful bidders will secure exclusivity to a guaranteed percentage of the Authority's residual waste, ranging from 25 to 45 per cent depending on the lot size.

This approach reflects ELWA's strategy to maximise value and opportunities arising from the ongoing implementation of the current Resources and Waste Strategy. The Authority is offering bidders the option to use existing large waste transfer facilities at Frog Island and Jenkins Lane, though this is not mandatory.

ELWA will employ a two-stage Competitive Dialogue procedure for this procurement, allowing bidders to propose and discuss innovative solutions. The contract award is anticipated for summer 2025.

Andrew Lappage, Managing Director at ELWA, commented on the process: "The launch of the residual waste procurement is an important and exciting milestone for ELWA, as we look to deliver value for money for local people in a changing world, while also reducing the environmental impacts of managing waste.

“We are launching this procurement during a time of great uncertainty within the resources and waste industry. The Government's ongoing collection and packaging reforms, along with the forthcoming extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme, represent a significant shift in how this industry operates, and it is imperative that ELWA is positioned to be able to maximise opportunities and continue to deliver value for money."

The residual waste treatment contract is part of a broader procurement strategy. ELWA plans to launch further procurements to replace its existing long-term integrated contract, including treatment capacity contracts for dry recycling, food waste, and garden waste. Additionally, the Authority will seek an operator for its waste transfer sites, provision of haulage services, and management of the four reuse and recycling centres in its area.

This procurement initiative aligns with ELWA's Joint Strategy for East London's Resources and Waste (2027-57), adopted in early 2022. The strategy outlines priorities and actions for future waste and recycling treatment services across the four London boroughs served by ELWA: Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, and Redbridge.

With approximately 422,000 households and 1.15 million residents in its service area, ELWA managed around 433,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste in 2023-24.