Sita UK has submitted a planning application for an energy-from-waste (EfW) plant based in Cornwall and has had a varied response from local residents.
The waste company hope to build the £100 million Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) by 2012 if planning permission is approved.
Sita claims that the CERC will benefit Cornwall by diverting 90% of the countys residual waste away from landfill and said that this will be important because the main landfill site, United Mines, is due to close in 2010. Sita also said that the EfW will produce electricity to power 21,000 local homes.
A Sita spokesman said: We have had a varied response from residents. There are a few who do not want the facility to be near their village. There are also people who have concerns about health affects and impacts on house prices. In terms of location people living near by are anxious about it being near them. There are also concerns about the impact of emissions.
But we have a liaison group made up with local residents who can discuss their views.
It is natural that people have concerns and one of the best ways to address this is through open communication.
Project director for Cornwall David Buckle said that the CERC would help Cornwall to meet its Government targets of recycling and composting 50% of its household waste by 2020.
The CERC is needed to deal with the countys residual waste which is currently going to landfill. Even if Cornwall achieves the most optimistic rates for recycling, this facility is urgently needed to manage the waste that is left over. Without this facility, Cornwall will be in a desperate situation not only in terms of somewhere to dispose of the waste, but also due to the huge cost of taxes that will be charged on every tonne of waste that is buried.
Cornwall County Council has begun the process of registration and validation of the planning application, to be followed by a consultation and publicity.
Image: Artist's impression of CERC