INITIAL work on a waste recycling facility which will create 275 jobs in South Kirkby is set to begin next week.
The new site is part of a £750m district-wide private finance initiative (PFI) deal between Wakefield Council and the Shanks/Babcock consortium to transform the way waste is dealt with.
The South Kirkby site will include a hi-tech waste treatment and recycling facility at the former South Kirkby Colliery site.
The initial works, which are subject to final agreement from the Coal Authority, will see three redundant mine shafts located and inspected to ensure that the tops of the mineshafts are adequate for the development.
If necessary, remedial works will be carried out.
The work comes as legal discussions for the PFI agreement have also taken a major step forward, with an agreed contract completion date for February 2012, leading to the start of new services in March.
Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: “We are progressing our plans for the new hi-tech waste treatment plant at South Kirkby, combining a mixture of modern technologies for dealing with waste together with improving waste recycling centres across the district.
“Once we reach final agreement on the PFI, there will be a phased approach to managing waste across the Wakefield district designed to enable people to recycle as much as possible and to reduce the amount of waste we need to send to landfill.
“Shanks is one of Europe’s leading waste management businesses and has delivered a number of successful PFIs across the country. Babcock will continue to provide the engineering background for the autoclave which is being provided to the project by local engineering firm, Joseph Rhodes. Our plans are on track and we look forward to a successful outcome to our negotiations early next year.”
Ian Goodfellow, MD at Shanks Waste Management, said: “We continue to make good progress and look forward to working with Wakefield Council to deliver the state of the art facility at South Kirkby. ”
The work on the site will mean deep excavations and is expected to take about three weeks.