Frequently asked questions

Why is this facility needed?

Historically most of the household waste in the UK has been landfilled, as this has long been the cheapest and easiest way of disposing of it. However, European and national statutory targets now compel local authorities to find more environmentally-friendly waste management alternatives. Approximately 399,000 tonnes of household waste was produced in West Sussex last year and current estimates forecast this to rise to 450,000 tonnes by 2030. Yet by 2020, the County Council will only be allowed to landfill 130,000 tonnes of household waste a year and could be heavily fined if it exceeds this target. The facility will significantly reduce the amount of household waste sent to landfill, helping West Sussex to meet this target.

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What is mechanical biological treatment?

This is not a single technology, but rather a combination of sorting and treatment technologies. Biffa’s mechanical biological treatment facility has the potential to bring major benefits to West Sussex, by significantly reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and using waste to produce valuable environmentally-friendly fuels. This in turn will help West Sussex to avoid the increasing financial penalties levied on waste sent to landfill and reduce the carbon emissions produced in processing the County’s waste.

Mechanical biological treatment is a proven and reliable way of handling waste and Biffa operates similar facilities in Leicester and on the Isle of Wight, and the specific technology is used on a number of sites in Germany. Biffa anticipates that the facility will be able to serve West Sussex’s needs for 25-years.

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How will the impacts of the facility be controlled?

The facility has been designed to protect local amenity and be a good neighbour to nearby homes and businesses:

  • Waste will be processed in an enclosed environment with air extraction systems, filters and sound proofing to contain odours and noise.
  • The facility will fully comply with all environmental standards.
  • No sorting, recycling or treatment of waste will take place in the open air.
  • Biffa has appointed a Community Liaison Officer and is now holding regular Brookhurst Wood Site Liaison Group meetings to ensure the local community is kept informed of operations on the site and has the opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns directly with Biffa.
  • Biffa has also set up this dedicated website to provide the community with regularly updated information about the facility and a further means of contacting Biffa.

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When will construction work on site begin?

 Our contractors started preparations for the construction in June 2010. Initial works included:

  • Putting up fencing around the site for security
  • Levelling areas of the site and clearing vegetation where new buildings will be located
  • Installing a drainage system and temporary water and electricity supplies
  • Re-routing landfill traffic within the site
  • Constructing new access roads within the site

You can also keep up to date with our latest information.

At the beginning of 2011, ground engineering works will take place, including piling for the foundations, and then construction of the new facility begins.

Once the facility is completed it will undergo a period of commissioning. This will rigorously test the facility to make sure it operates as efficiently as possible throughout its 25-year life. The facility will open on completion of this commissioning period, which is due in 2013.

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What will be done to reduce disturbance during construction?

A number of conditions have been placed on the construction works by West Sussex County Council to prevent and minimise impacts on the site’s neighbours.

Working Hours – construction work can only take place between 7.30am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and between 7.30am and 1pm on Saturdays only. There will be no works on Sundays and bank holidays.

Construction HGV traffic – construction HGVs are only permitted to arrive at and leave the site between 7.30am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and between 7.30am and 1pm on Saturdays. Wheel cleaning facilities have been installed at the site to prevent construction vehicles from depositing mud on to local roads.

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How can I apply for a construction job?

M+W and Biffa are keen to include local people when considering job vacancies. Enquiries about jobs at the Brookhurst Wood site can be sent to

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