The firm is now responsible for waste management services in the Wakefield District and has solidified its 25-year £700m waste disposal contract with Cumbria Council by delivering a new mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant.

Shanks’ contract with Cumbria Council was agreed in 2009 and yesterday’s opening of the MBT plant in Barrow follows the opening of an identical facility in Hespin Wood, Carlisle.

Each year Cumbria deals with around 180,000 tonnes of household waste through Shanks and each MBT plant has the capacity to process 75,000 tonnes a year.

Initial performance figures from the Hespin Wood plant indicate that, after its first year in operation, it has diverted around 85% of the waste it processes from landfill.

Shanks’ Wakefield deal involves it managing seven household waste recycling centres, a localised bring site network, a waste transfer station and the construction of a residual waste treatment facility at South Kirkby.

The plant will see Shanks able to process up to 200,000 tonnes of household waste per year, helping to increase the local authority’s landfill diversion rate to 90%.

A variety of materials will be segregated for recycling and the facility will produce a refuse derived fuel (RDF) for processing at a multi-fuel plant which is being built at Ferrybridge Power Station.

Conor McGlone

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