A WIGAN landfill site has been sold as part of a restoration programme and environmental programme.
Viridor has completed the sale and transfer of its Whitehead landfill restoration, in Lower Green Lane, Astley, to commercial property developer, NPL Group.
The move will see NPL Group continue with Viridor’s plans to restore the site, importing soils.
The Whitehead site was used as a residual waste facility by the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, but was later mothballed in response to the need to increase recycling and reduce waste.
The sale is part of Viridor’s long-term plan to manage down its landfill business, closing several sites, to operate only three centres by 2020, focusing on creating renewable power from landfill gas.
Closed landfills will continue to produce such gases as methane to generate heat, solar or electrical energy.
A spokesman for Viridor said that as one of the largest landfill operators in the country, it is gradually moving away from landfill and investing in new efficient energy recovery facilities.
Chris Jonas, director of business development for Viridor, said: “While recognising the contribution of landfill as both a secure residual waste disposal option and as a the pioneer of renewable energy, a focus on recycling and investment in energy recovery is hastening an end to its legacy use.
“That said, Viridor’s landfill asset base presents significant opportunities for the business, both internally and through the release of some sites for commercial development. The sale and transfer of Whitehead is good news for both Viridor and the local community which can look forward to the longer-term development of the land with NPL.” Simon Towers, managing director, NPL Group, added: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction with Viridor and are looking forward to working with Wigan and Salford Councils to examine whether there are any other uses for the 400 acre site. We will exploit the landfill gas for generation of power and manage the site from an environmental perspective.
“We have no fixed plans as yet, but we will bring some positive ideas for employment generation to those discussions.”