Waste project deferred until New Year

Gloucestershire County Council has decided to delay the next stages of the residual waste project until the New Year. Following the decision by Defra to withdraw our £92million Private Finance Investment (PFI) cash last week, the council has put the project temporarily on hold.

At the moment four companies are bidding for the contract to build a waste facility to deal with the county’s household rubbish. This would provide an alternative to landfill, which is too expensive, harmful to the environment and we’re running out of space. On 18th November, Cabinet was due to reduce the remaining four bidders down to the final two, but this decision has now been deferred.

Ultimately Gloucestershire County Council has to find an alternative to landfill so we will be looking at ways this project can proceed.
Between now and January, the council will be working with Defra and the government, looking at ways of taking this project forward. It is hoped the item will be now considered by Cabinet in February 2011.
Cllr Stan Waddington, cabinet member for environment and waste, said: “Following Defra’s announcement we’ve got a lot of work to do before we can take this project any further.
“That doesn’t mean we have scrapped the project or that it won’t go ahead, it just means we need more time to sort out the financial issues we’re now facing.
“Whatever happens we have to find an alternative to landfill for dealing with Gloucestershire’s household waste so there’s no question of us dropping the project and doing nothing.
“In the New Year, I hope we’ll be in a position to continue what we have started.”

Alongside the residual waste project, the council is looking at its Waste Core Strategy, which is a planning document which, by law, all Waste Planning Authorities have to produce.
It sets out how we deal with waste in the county and includes sites that are suitable for dealing with waste.
As there is still a need for designated waste sites in the county – whether they will be used by the county council or other organisations – the issue will remain on the Cabinet agenda for 18th November.

For more information on the Waste Core Strategy visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/wcs.
Currently, we recycle 43 per cent of our waste in Gloucestershire, with the remainder going to landfill.
Gloucestershire buried about 170,000 tonnes of household waste in 2008/2009 and the council expects a landfill tax bill of £7million this financial year alone. Landfill tax is currently £48 for every tonne of waste and is set to increase by £8 per tonne per year next year because the government is imposing heavy penalties and taxes. This means councils across the UK are looking to find more environmentally friendly and cost effective ways of dealing with rubbish.

Detailed proposals from four waste companies are currently being evaluated.
The core technologies being considered are mechanical biological treatment (MBT)/mechanical treatment and Energy from Waste (incineration). MBT includes a range of technologies, including composting, anaerobic digestion and bio-drying. All the proposed solutions make some use of Javelin Park whilst in some cases final processing takes place outside of the county.

Further information on the residual waste project is available at www.recycleforgloucestershire.com/real_rubbish
Issued by Lisa Bonnell, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425226,