PFI Incinerator for Herefordshire & Worcestershire - who pays?

3 December 2011

North Herefordshire Green Party is calling for a rethink on plans to build an incinerator for waste at Hartlebury in Worcestershire


An enquiry is currently taking place into plans by Worcestershire County Council to build an incinerator at Hartlebury. North Herefordshire Greens believe that there are many questions that need to be answered as to the wisdom of such a development, which will also take waste from Herefordshire.


Herefordshire Green Party Councillor Felicity Norman says


"Herefordshire Council has been granted £115 million in PFI (Private Finance Initiative) credits for this development. When I asked at the latest Full Council meeting whether we will be paying our share in this way, I was told that no decision had yet been made. I think we need to know if Herefordshire Council is to be involved in yet another hugely expensive PFI commitment. Jesse Norman has called for a moratorium on all PFI proposals in the pipeline. I hope the Treasury is listening.


And, as increasing numbers of Local Authorities abandon plans to build incinerators, we in the Green Party call on Herefordshire Council to rethink its plans. There are many reasons for rejecting this method of dealing with our waste, and I call on Herefordshire Council to look for more sustainable alternatives. With home collection, recycling rates have gone up considerably and we can do much more. We need to collect and process green and food waste, and establish ‘bring and take' centres at our recycling stations."


North Herefordshire Greens have made a submission to the Enquiry, objecting to the proposals on the following grounds:


  • This proposal breaches Herefordshire's own unitary plan which states that Herefordshire waste should be treated within that county
  • Waste from both counties will be transported unacceptable distances
  • The cost to tax payers will be unacceptably high
  • The incinerator will generate large quantities of toxic waste which will still need to be disposed of as landfill.
  • Emissions will adversely affect air quality.
  • There are possible health hazards from emissions and ash
  • Incinerators can produce more CO2 than burning fossil fuels, and the plan is at odds with the proposals from both counties to reduce carbon
  • Incinerators need a constant supply of waste and reduce incentives to reduce waste
  • They can lead to depressed recycling rates and even a cap on recycling targets
  • Predictions of future waste are often exaggerated and waste quantities are actually coming down.
  • There are a number of better and more acceptable alternatives, eg. an anaerobic digestor (About half the price of an incinerator)
  • The building itself, and the running of the plant, will be intrusive in the landscape, and create noise and disturbance in a rural area
  • Precautionary principles should apply
  • There should be a zero waste policy. Waste (packaging etc.) should be reduced to a minimum, then reused or recycled. Anything which cannot be disposed of in this way should not be produced.

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