Norfolk County Council has agreed to continue sending 40,000 tonnes of waste each year to an energy-from-waste (EfW) plant in Suffolk until 2020.
The extension has been agreed as part of the county council’s work to secure four years’ worth of waste services, using existing facilities inside or outside Norfolk, to replace its current arrangements which end in 2016 that deal with the 210,000 tonnes of residual waste that Norfolk generates each year.
No EfW facility will be built in Norfolk after the council agreed to terminate plans for a plant in King’s Lynn last year, a decision which cost the authority £33.7m in compensation payments. Joint developers Cory and Wheelabrator formally withdrew the application in January.
Chairman of the environment, development and transport committee, Toby Coke, was confident that services to deal with the remaining 170,000 tonnes of waste a year will be organised by the autumn because “a sustainable long-term solution that is acceptable to our communities in Norfolk” was essential.
“That is one of our most pressing tasks because with the benefits of the economic growth forecast for our county, and with more new homes being built here, it is inevitable that we will be dealing with more waste in the future,” he said.
“We hope to have that settled by 2020. But whatever we agree is right for Norfolk, it will be in line with the 20 waste policies that the council agreed in December last year.
“We will be looking for waste services that squeeze more valuable resources out of our rubbish, and wherever possible use smaller local waste treatment facilities so that we deal with waste as close to the places where it was generated as possible.”
Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection, Matthew Hicks, said: “This arrangement has saved both local authorities in the region of £1m between 2014 and 2016. The extension of this agreement will not increase the volume of waste moved into Suffolk and the number of trucks transporting waste from Norfolk will not change.
“This is a good deal for taxpayers in both counties, with both councils benefitting from economies of scale, because sending more waste to the Great Blakenham plant (above) reduces the treatment cost per tonne.”