Basildon waste facility to be demolished

A waste facility in Basildon which was supposed to process all black bag waste in Essex will be demolished this summer due to “significant performance issues”.

Essex County Council has confirmed the waste treatment contract for the Tovi Eco Park between itself and UBB Waste Limited will be terminated as part of a mutual agreement which was signed earlier today.

This means the Basildon facility, which processes mechanical and biological waste, will soon be demolished, subject to planning requirements.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said in a statement: “Due to ongoing performance issues at the waste treatment facility in Basildon, Essex County Council and the parent companies of the facility’s former owner and operator, Urbaser SA and Balfour Beatty Group Limited, have mutually agreed to terminate the contract, thereby settling the ongoing legal disputes.

“ECC will work closely with the two companies to ensure a smooth transition to demolition of the facility and the handing back of the Environmental Permit. Residents will see no difference in how their waste is collected. Waste that local householders have sorted for recycling will continue to be separately collected and recycled.

“UBB recognises that the facility did not meet the performance levels set out in the contract and also that the performance issue was not caused by the actions of ECC. Both parties are pleased to have been able to conclude matters on mutually agreed terms.”

Deliveries of waste to the facility ceased in June 2020 and the facility was emptied of waste in August 2020.

The contract was originally signed in 2012, but the county council has been in discussions with UBB Waste about the issues for some time, the statement continues.

Where matters were not resolved, both parties went to court to decide and after a trial in 2019, judgement was handed down in June 2020 in favour of the county council.

Further proceedings were launched in relation to the contract in July 2021, according to the statement.

Waste will continue to be sent to landfill in the short term as part of contingency arrangements.

According to the statement, the site will be made safe and secure for local residents, then the empty site will be handed over to the county council.

Essex County Council says it will review its waste management strategy and plan for how it will move away from landfill in consultation with residents, in light of these developments.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter