The deal comes as the company opens its first plastic recycling facility in Rainham, Essex, which has been built to support local authorities across the UK adopt mixed plastic collections at the kerbside.

The contract in Leeds will result in a hi-tech recycling and energy recovery facility scheduled to open in spring 2016. Veolia is also planning to develop a cogeneration plant able to supply heat to local users.

Meanwhile the mixed plastics reprocessing plant, which represents a £5m investment, has an annual capacity of 50,000 and will be capable of separatingup to nine different grades of plastics including bottles, tubs and trays.

The UK as a whole is currently collecting around 180,000 tonnes of plastic bottles per annum, which represents around 30% of the estimated 550,000 tonnes that enter the waste stream every year.

Veolia’s executive director Gavin Graveson said the plant would have the capability to adapt to different plastics in the future.

“We can now achieve a market leading end product for reprocessing materials back into plastic products, closing the loop and feeding the circular economy,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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