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Cabinet approves plans to progress energy from waste facility

Herefordshire Council’s cabinet today unanimously approved plans to progress with the proposed new Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facility, which will save the taxpayers of Worcestershire and Herefordshire £128million as things stand today.

EnviRecover, which will be built on Hartlebury Trading Estate, will have capacity to divert 200,000 tonnes of waste from landfill sites each year. Planning consent for the plant was given by the Secretary of State in July 2012. Construction is expected to start next year and it is planned to be fully operational in early 2017.

At today's meeting cabinet members approved the variation to the existing Waste Management Services Contract (25 years) that Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council has with Mercia Waste Management Ltd (Mercia) signed in 1998.

The contract already includes:

  • Material Reclamation Facilities
  • Waste Transfer Stations,
  • Household Waste Sites (now Household Recycling Centres),
  • Operations and Management of Hill and Moor Landfill, Construction and;
  • Composting facilities.

In 2023/24 its forecast that 222,518 tonnes of 'residual waste' will be produced in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

Incremental Landfill Taxes set by Central Government, which have increased from £6 per tonne in 1996 to £80 per tonne (from April 2014), landfill site forecast to be full by 2023/24 and the significant risk of additional costs in securing out of county facility for residual waste, means doing nothing is not an option both in environmental and financial sense.

The cost of pursuing the Energy-from-Waste option over its whole cost life (until 2042) is £700million. In 2016/17 the uplift (additional) payment is £6.6million from the point EfW becomes operational. It has been claimed that costs for the EfW facility alone would cost £1.65billion or £38million a year. This is not the case as confirmed in the Cabinet Agenda Report.

A number of alternative technologies have been considered over a number of years with a residual waste options appraisal being carried out, taking into account both financial and environmental criteria. The proposed Energy-from-Waste, first confirmed as the best solution in 2009, again came out as the best solution in a review in 2012.

Cllr Tony Johnson, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said: "The decision taken to progress with plans for the Energy from Waste plant is good news for the residents of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

"We continue to be committed to waste prevention and minimising the amount of waste we send to landfill.

"The new plant will complement the many improvements our contractors have delivered over the last few years. This includes EnviroSort and the Household Recycling sites, which have made recycling easier for residents of both counties.

“Cabinet were of the view that we could not continue to sit on our hands and watch the landfill in Worcestershire reach capacity by 2023.

The EfW facility in Hartlebury will be handed over to Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council as an asset when the current Waste Management Services Contract ends in 2023. The EfW has an expected operational life until 2042.

Tags: Environment and waste