It was back in 2004 that experts at Bradford Council first discussed the need for a long-term alternative to disposing of household waste in landfill. At the time they feared significant increases in waste costs and bosses were tasked with finding another option.

Fast forward to 2008 and, along with neighbouring Calderdale Council, both authorities set out just what it was they wanted out of the contract and the bidding process began.

On Tuesday night, councillors in Bradford provided the final piece in that process, agreeing to select Earth Tech Skanska, or ETS, as the preferred bidder for the 25-year-deal.

Ian Bairstow, the Council’s strategic director for environment and sport, is hoping the contract will be signed within the next three to six months and that a planning application for the Council-owned Bowling Back Lane site will be submitted by the summer.

If successful, construction of a waste treatment plant, including an energy-from-waste facility, would begin in 2013 and the centre is expected to be up and running by April, 2016.

Mr Bairstow said no changes would be made to the current doorstep collections, but that they would be looking at ways of encouraging more recycling. It is hoped the contract will help the Council hit a target of recycling 50 per cent of waste by 2020.

He spoke of the plant itself and the impact on those living nearby.

A visitor centre will also be built where people can learn about waste treatment and recycling data on emissions from the plant, and the results of monitoring by the Environment Agency will be published.

Early next year, ETS will set up a committee to liaise with residents, businesses and councillors, and consultation will begin on their proposals for the development of the site.