‘No change’ as Biffa takes over Viridor-run recycle sites

‘No change’ as Biffa takes over Viridor-run recycle sites

Wednesday 25 August 2021 – Waste firm Biffa is taking over Somerset’s 16 recycle sites from Viridor, which has managed them for Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) for many years.

Customers will see little or no change except for site signage, said SWP Managing Director Mickey Green.

Biffa is also acquiring Viridor’s anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater, which transforms 22,500 tonnes of Somerset’s food waste into electricity, and the composting sites that turn almost 40,000 tonnes of the county’s garden waste into the Revive soil conditioner.

Mr Green added that SWP and Somerset County Council are carrying out due diligence checks to ensure that Somerset residents’ interests are fully protected. Viridor staff are expected to transfer to Biffa employment from September.

He added: ““SWP is proud that 98% of everything we collect for recycling stays in the UK and is recycled properly. We will not allow anything to affect that. The move from Viridor to Biffa is one that resulted from Viridor’s strategic review of their business and does not involve SWP disposing of any assets, any changes to our contract or to what the service costs.

“We are making careful checks and talking with Biffa to ensure we work closely together to deliver excellent performance. We are confident that Somerset residents will continue to receive good service from their efficient and well-run recycling sites and we will manage our contract carefully with Biffa to ensure that. We also hope to work with Biffa to improve services, particularly what we do to promote much more reuse.”

Worth £126 million, the proposed sale by Viridor owner KKR has been allowed by the Competitions & Markets Authority. It does not include Viridor’s Avonmouth energy-from-waste plant that generates electricity from all of Somerset’s kerbside rubbish and all suitable (about 60%) recycle site refuse.

Reflecting SWP’s own plans, Biffa’s business ambitions include fostering local waste education programmes and supporting viable reuse schemes.

Global investment company KKR acquired Viridor for £4.2 billion in July 2020.