Veolia is being asked by Hertfordshire County Council to come up with an alternative option for dealing with residual waste in the county.
The decision follows a ruling by the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in July against planning permission for Veolia’s recycling and energy recovery facility at Hatfield.
The scheme received a further blow in October when Defra withdrew PFI credits worth £115m arguing that the UK has sufficient infrastructure capacity.
Terry Douris, Hertfordshire’s cabinet member for waste management, said: “Veolia will be asked to prepare an alternative option for the long-term treatment of Hertfordshire’s residual waste.
“They will have six months to complete this work. We’ll then carefully consider their proposal before deciding whether to continue with Veolia or request termination of the contract.”
Douris said that, contractually, preparation by Veolia of an alternative option would not cost the council.
“As we have free access to Veolia’s expertise, it would be short-sighted not to ask them for an alternative. We have plans in place to deal with waste up to 2021 so we have sufficient time to come up with a long-term solution that is both environmentally and financially sound,” he added.
Veolia is due in court in December to challenge Pickles’ decision, and councillors agreed to monitor the case closely and review their options if Veolia is successful.
MRW has asked Veolia for a comment.