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Cheaper alternative to incinerator called for – Kidderminster Shuttle

8:39am Tuesday 23rd November 2010


AN action group in Hartlebury is calling for a cheaper alternative to a planned incinerator, after Worcestershire County Council revealed it must save up to £70 million by 2015.

Worcestershire Residents Against Incineration and Landfill (WAIL) was formed in opposition to plans to build a £120 million waste processing plant at Hartlebury Industrial Estate.

In response to the county council’s budget announcement earlier this month, WAIL chairman, Ray Kirby, said: “There are reported to be 750 job losses at the county and massive budget cuts but under the proposed public finance initiative the mortgage interest costs alone [relating to the waste plant project]could be estimated at £5 million per year, before repayment begins.”

He asked: “How many front line jobs and services to vulnerable people does that equate to?

“Is it wise to commit to a £120 million mortgage for 25 years at this uncertain and cash-constrained time?”

He said the county could save half the cost of the proposed incinerator – a saving of around £60 million – by opting for anaerobic digestion to divert biodegradable waste from landfill.

A county council spokesman said: “The county council carried out an options appraisal of all current comparable technologies during its recent review of the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy.

“It concluded that over a 25-year period a single energy from waste facility is the best overall solution for dealing with residual waste in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.”

He added: “This appraisal is available at the website at worcestershire.gov.uk and ranks energy from waste as having a lower life cycle cost than other technologies.”

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