An artist's impression of the new RERF site
Anna Addison

Member Article

100s of jobs expected at controversial recycling site

It’s been announced that work on a controversial, new recycling facility in east Leeds- which will create hundreds of jobs- will get underway in September.

Leeds City Council and Veolia Environmental Services are on course to start the construction work on the city’s new ‘Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility’ (RERF) at the Cross Green Industrial Estate site which will bring new investment and jobs to the city.

The construction phase at the former wholesale market site will create around 300 jobs and, once full-operational, 45 people will be recruited to work at the facility.

The Environment Agency (EA) granted a permit for the RERF in July, despite objections from local residents who raised concerns about air quality in the area. The EA said that whilst determining the permit, it took into account the way in which the site would be operated to ensure it that it would not have a detrimental impact on the local environment or health.

In addition, as the regulating body, the EA said that it would continue to monitor Veolia’s operation closely to ensure that the conditions of the permit were met.

Veolia was granted planning permission for the incinerator facility in April by Leeds City Council and both parties have recently met with employment and skills providers from across the city to discuss how local people can benefit from employment and training opportunities on the new construction site.

Paul Fowler, general manager for Veolia Leeds, said:

“We’re looking forward to forging links with the community to help fill the 300 positions on site that will be available during the construction phase. We’ll deliver opportunities throughout the construction period but once we are operational we will recruit 45 people on a permanent basis to work at the recycling and energy recovery facility.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills, said:

“Ensuring we can give people the right training and job opportunities on this development project will help lay the foundations for a highly skilled, local workforce. The immense amount of work going on in the background to lay these foundations gives us great confidence that people will be able to benefit directly and indirectly from the construction and operation of the new facility.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment, said:

“The economic and social benefits of the new facility are just as important as the environmental benefits, so we’re pleased that so much effort has gone into working with local agencies to maximise these opportunities.”

Once operational, up to 214,000 tonnes of Leeds’ black bin waste will go through the facility a year. Recyclable materials will be removed with the remainder being incinerated. The process will generate enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes. The facility will save £200 million compared to the cost of landfilling waste over the lifetime of the contract.

A date for the facility to open is yet to be announced.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Addison .

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