Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority and Covanta reach “amicable” settlement


Covanta Energy and Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) have come to an “amicable settlement” over the disputed award of a contract to a consortium led by SITA UK.

As a result, Covanta has agreed not to pursue its claim against MWDA and further details are being kept confidential.


SITA UK’s consortium was awarded the contract to process residual waste from Merseyside, in April this year ahead of Covanta.

But in September, the High Court granted an injunction preventing MWDA from entering into the contract with SITA that would see Merseyside’s residual waste taken by rail to SITA’s energy from waste facility in Teesside.

In his reasons for granting an injunction, Mr Justice Coulson wrote that a trial was required to work out whether “Covanta were materially misled by MWDA or whether, conversely, MWDA were making it plain what they wanted and how they expected Covanta to react.”

This was because Covanta raised concerns that over the procurement process, it was not informed that important aspects of its tender were considered “fundamentally unacceptable”.

SITA UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “This is the best possible outcome for the people of Merseyside and Halton and means we can soon get on with the important job of managing household waste in a sustainable and cost effective way. SITA UK has a strong track record of delivering contracts that get results and that’s exactly what is needed by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority.

“We look forward to working together to save council tax payers millions of pounds and reducing carbon emissions by thousands of tonnes each year with our new resource recovery contract.”