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Surrey County Council drops incinerator plans

Surrey County Council has axed plans to build two energy from waste plants after improved waste and recycling rates meant there was no need for such big facilities.

In their place, a gasification plant and anaerobic digestion plant will be built to handle 100,000 tonnes of waste each year, instead of the 270,000 tonne capacity the incinerators offered.

Leader of the council Dr Andrew Povey said: I am pleased to announce that we are scrapping plans for any EfW incinerators in Surrey. Today (15 Dec) I will be instructing that the planning applications for incinerators at Capel and Trumps Farm be withdrawn.

With our help, and that of our partners, our residents are now doing so well at producing less waste and recycling more that we are in a position to look at alternative methods of dealing with our waste and saving both money and our countryside.

The council hopes the plants will be built as part of an eco park on a Shepperton site which has an existing waste facility. This would incorporate a range of waste treatment facilities, an innovation centre to develop the latest technologies and an education centre open to the public.

Surrey Waste Management, a subsidiary of Sita UK is contracted to provide the waste management services as part of a 25-year PFI contract. Regional manager Sean Trotter said: As the councils recycling and waste management contractor, it is our job to ensure that the technology proposed works effectively.

EfW incinerators will continue to have an important role in managing waste that would otherwise be landfilled across the UK. Here in Surrey, however, the council is taking a different approach, and now that smaller amounts of residual waste will be managed within the county, alternative emerging technologies are possible.

According to the firm, gasification is suitable for treating smaller amounts of mixed household waste.

The council hopes to encourage residents to reuse resources where possible and recycle the rest, which would result in a reduction of 35,000 tonnes of waste each year.

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