Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA)

Project Background

The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) is the largest waste disposal authority in England. It is responsible for the management and disposal of municipal waste from the Greater Manchester area.

Following the signing of a 25 year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract in 2009 for waste and recycling, the GMWDA proceeded with the construction of 38 new recycling and waste management facilities across 24 sites. This included state-of-the-art facilities such as anaerobic digestion (for the biological treatment of organic waste and production of fuel gas), in vessel composting and materials recovery.

The final facility was completed in April 2013.


Project Scope

Tenos was appointed by the main contractor Costain to develop a fire safety engineering strategy for the new Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility.



The new Mechanical and Biological Treatment facility comprises of high-value bespoke processing plant and control equipment.

In terms of life safety, satisfying fire safety legal requirements at recycling and waste management sites is relatively straight forward. However, statistically, fires as such facilities are quite frequent.

Therefore, in addition to life safety consideration, GMWDA were required by their insurers to implement a fire safety strategy to protect assets at the MBT facility for business continuity purposes.

Tenos used a risk-based approach for this project which involved an assessment of the performance of existing fire protection systems. We developed a cost-effective fire safety engineering strategy for life safety and the protection of assets and provided consultation throughout the construction phase.

We also produced detailed specifications for fire detection and alarm systems, passive fire protection, automatic fire suppression, and cause and effect for plant control in the event of a fire.

The implemented fire safety engineering strategy ensured our client’s building construction and control systems fully complied with their legal obligations and satisfied the requirements of insurers.