Council cleans up with help from Ward Hadaway | 09 June 09

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has helped Darlington Council to boost its environmental efforts by advising on a new waste management deal.

The authority was advised by Ward Hadaway on all aspects of its contract with the John Wade Group, an agreement which is set to increase recycling rates across the town from the current 22% to 50% of all waste collected.

Members of the law firm’s commercial, property and public sector teams were involved on all aspects of the deal, from negotiating with potential bidders to drawing up contracts.

The process used the new competitive dialogue procedure, a rigorous process which allowed Darlington Council to carry out detailed negotiations with a number of potential contractors before deciding on the John Wade Group.

It was one of the first times that such a process has been used on a waste management contract.

The deal also ensured that a new recycling plant was constructed. The plant, next to the A1 at Aycliffe village, will process all of Darlington’s household waste for the next 11 years.

The site uses mechanical biological treatment to speed up waste decomposition and automatically separates metals, plastics and other recyclable materials from the rest of the rubbish.

Ward Hadaway also advised Darlington Council on the complex issues surrounding the change of waste management contractor and the change of operator for Darlington’s current civic waste site.

Colin Hewitt, partner and head of commercial law at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team on the deal, assisted by property solicitor Stephanie Muirhead.

Colin said: “We are really pleased to have helped Darlington Council to conclude this new waste management agreement.

“This is a very important deal for the council and for the people of Darlington as it should provide significantly improved recycling rates across the town.

“Using our extensive experience in public/private sector agreements, we were able to employ an innovative structure to the arrangements in order to secure best value for the authority and for its Council Tax payers.”

Nick Wallis, Darlington Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Environment and Climate Change, said: “The new MBT plant will make a big difference to the amount of waste going to landfill from Darlington, transforming how we manage our waste.”

Ward Hadaway has advised on a number of other waste management agreements involving local authorities.

Last year, the firm advised on more than £2bn worth of different projects across the public sector.

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