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Norfolk ‘cannot rule out incineration’ in long term

Norfolk County Council could revisit plans to build an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility after its environment committee rejected an anti-incineration policy.

The move came when the committee was asked to agree a set of policies to govern the authority’s long-term waste management plans.

The first policy of these was one saying: “No development of incineration in Norfolk for waste the council is responsible for as a waste disposal authority”, was rejected. Currently 20% of residual waste from Norfolk is being sent for incineration in Suffolk.

Councillors were warned the private sector may be wary of engaging in any procurement process following the debacle around the Willows EfW scheme in King’s Lynn.

In April the council voted to abandon a contract with Cory Wheelabrator to build the facility, after the scheme was held up by communities secretary Eric Pickles.

The policy paper, which outlined the risks of procuring waste treatment services, said delaying any decisions on policy would jeopardise the process as the waste sector needed to be sure of political commitment.

Any vacillation could affect the level of competition and drive up prices, it said.

The council said it needed to start procuring interim services to deal with waste by April 2016, after current arrangements come to an end. This is likely to involve existing treatment facilities outside of the county. Next year it will consider “longer term solutions” to process waste after 2020.

A meeting of the full council on 15 December will take the final decision on waste policy.

Local campaign group King’s Lynn Without Incineration said it would attend the meeting.

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