Viridor awarded £20m East Sussex recycling contract

Waste management company Viridor has been awarded the contract to process around 50,000 tonnes of East Sussex County Council’s dry recyclables per year.

The new contract, worth £20 million, will see Viridor receive the dry recyclables collected at the kerbside – including paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, aluminium and steel cans and glass – from the five districts and boroughs in the area for sorting and onward sale into recycling markets.

Viridor's Rochester Polymers Reprocessing Facility in Kent.
Viridor's Rochester Polymers Reprocessing Facility in Kent.
The contract, which begins on 29 June 2019, will initially run to June 2022, with an option to extend for two further periods of 24 months up to June 2026.

Viridor will receive recyclable materials collected by South East Environmental Services Limited, a Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC) in Eastbourne, and by Biffa in Hastings Borough Council and Lewes, Rother and Wealden District Councils. The materials will be delivered to Viridor’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Crayford, Southeast London, before being sent on for processing at the company’s Rochester Polymers Recycling Facility in Kent and Skelmersdale Polymers Reprocessing Facility in Lancashire.

Viridor previously had an agreement in place to process the mixed dry recyclables from Wealden, Rother, Hastings and Eastbourne under Kier Environmental's collections contract, which comes to an end on 29 June, while Viridor also had a direct contract with Lewes.

The contract includes a maximum contamination rate of 10 per cent and data will be collected by Viridor at its MRF on the quality of recyclables received, which will then be sent back to East Sussex County Council and the collection authorities so that they can gauge recycling performance and identify where work needs to be done to increase quality and recycling rates. Viridor and East Sussex County Council will also set up a board to award grants to environmental projects in the local area, with £15,000 available for applications every year..

Commenting on the new contract, Simon Prior, Viridor’s Head of Local Authority Development, said: “Our internal Bid and Development Team’s submitted a high-quality bid and we are delighted to be awarded the contract to continue our work with East Sussex directly.

“Processing the county’s high quality recyclables provide high quality resources to support the growing circular economy. In addition, our social value proposition provides the opportunity for local environmental-based projects to apply for grants from a new joint East Sussex-Viridor board.”

Rupert Clubb, East Sussex County Council Director of Communities, Economy and Transport, added: “We’re pleased to be joining forces with a company that has a proven track record of working with local authorities to process recyclables. Along with our colleagues in local district and borough councils, we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Viridor, working to continue to ensure as much of the county’s waste as possible is recycled.”