A council has put a controversial household waste incinerator up for sale after it closed temporarily for breaching pollution limits.
Neath Port Talbot council has advertised its share capital in Neath Port Talbot (Recycling), which runs the Crymlyn Burrows Materials Recovery and Energy Centre.
The facility, which processes household waste from Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend councils, has been dogged by legal wrangling and controversy since it opened in 2002.
People living nearby have made a series of complaints over foul odours, fires broke out at the facility in 2003 and 2010 and earlier this year it was temporarily shut down by the Environment Agency Wales after it was found to have breached dioxin pollution levels.
The council confirmed it was looking to sell off the incinerator, along with a waste management contract which will run up until a new regional facility comes online in 2018.
Local campaigners Swansea Friends of the Earth said the council was giving up on the project. Chairman Roy Jones said: “Local residents who have suffered the problems for years will now face the prospect of yet another outfit running the failing plant.”
A Neath Port Talbot spokesperson said: “Whilst the facility has had some well-documented problems over the last six years, the plant has consistently kept the councils at the top of the Welsh performance table for diverting household waste away from landfill.
“Landfilling is now recognised across Europe and further afield as an environmentally unsustainable form of waste disposal. By minimising landfill the plant has been keeping both councils well within their statutory Landfill Allowance Scheme targets, avoiding the potential of associated fines for exceedance.”