Is enough waste being recycled at £750m South Kirkby plant?

The waste plant at South Kirkby.
The waste plant at South Kirkby.

A council watchdog will look into how efficient the district’s £750m waste plant in South Kirkby is.

Wakefield Council’s communities, environment, transport and highways overview and scrutiny committee will discuss the site, which processes almost all the district’s household waste.

The plant was set up under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), under which the council makes repayments for the site to a private company over 25 years.

A report to next week’s committee meeting said: “The desired outcome is to help support the council in meeting its waste recycling targets and minimising waste across the district.

“Is the new waste treatment facility at South Kirkby meeting or exceeding expectations in reducing waste to landfill and increasing recycling?

“Is the new waste treatment facility working at or below capacity? Is there scope to recycle waste from other districts to generate income for the council?”

In November 2015 it emerged that Shanks, the company behind the scheme, would have to pay the council £4.6m in damages because of a four-month delay in the plant becoming full operational.

Shanks Group also sold half its stake in the South Kirkby plant to another company, Guernsey-owned Equitix Ltd, for £30m.