Biffa Signs 1 Billion Waste Treatment Deal With West Sussex Council

Biffa, the UK based waste management company has announced that it has signed a 25-year contract with West Sussex County Council to treat the County’s residual municipal waste using the latest Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) technology.

Biffa, the UK based waste management company has announced that it has signed a 25-year contract with West Sussex County Council to treat the County’s residual municipal waste using the latest Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) technology.

Above: Biffa Waste to Energy MBT Facility

The £1 billion plus deal will see Biffa construct an MBT facility next to its Brookhurst Wood landfill site near Horsham, in the north of the County. The company said the new facility will divert up to 80% of the residual waste from landfill and will save the Council around £300 million over the life of the Contract. It will also significantly reduce the carbon footprint of household waste management in the County.  Additionally, the mechanical sorting plant will  extract any remaining metals from the waste for recycling, helping to boost West Sussex’s recycling rates.

The mechanically separated biodegradable fraction will be treated using anaerobic digestion technology. The resultant biogas will initially be used to generate renewable energy and may in the future be harnessed to produce fuel for vehicles. When operating at full capacity the facility will produce up to 3.5 MW of renewable energy, enough to power around 7,000 homes.

Biffa is also in discussion with a national house builder to supply the digestate from the anaerobic digestion process as a fuel for a combined heat and power facility to be constructed as part of a new eco housing development in the County.

In addition, the facility’s mechanical sorting plant will produce a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). Subject to a joint exercise by Biffa and West Sussex County Council to find a long-term sustainable market for the RDF, it will either be sent to a third party outlet or used to fuel a thermal treatment facility that will produce energy in the form of electricity and heat. Subject to planning and operating consents, the thermal treatment facility would, if required, be constructed at the Brookhurst Wood site. 

Above: The facility will provide electricity for 7,000 homes


The contract was financed under prudential borrowing and will create up to 80 new jobs in West Sussex.
David Savory, Biffa’s Environment and External Affairs Director, said: 

"Biffa is delighted to embark upon this 25 year partnership with West Sussex County Council to help achieve its ambition to be an innovator in recycling and resource management. We will begin work on the MBT facility this summer and when operational in 2013 the facility will divert up to 80% of West Sussex’s residual waste away from landfill and use it as a resource to produce renewable energy." 

The MBT facility, which received planning consent in April 2010, comprises an integrated mechanical sorting and anaerobic digestion plant, and a visitor centre. The facility will use Haase and Eggersmann technology to treat up to 327,000 tonnes per year of residual municipal and commercial waste from in and around West Sussex. M+W UK Ltd has been selected as the EPC contractor to build the new facility at Brookhurst Wood.