North Yorkshire County Council has made alternative arrangements for waste disposal if for any reason its energy-from-waste (EfW) plant is delayed.
The local authority is consulting residents on a draft minerals and waste plan, put together jointly with City of York Council and the North York Moors National Park Authority.
More than a million hours have already been worked at Allerton Waste Recovery Park (AWRP) which is on schedule to become operational in early 2018.
Existing contracts with operators mean the councils are covered until 2019, but the draft plan says these could be extended if necessary.
“If AWRP were to be delayed or failed to become fully operational, these contracts would be re-tendered before they expire. Any requirements for additional infrastructure in the plan area arising from such a scenario would, if necessary, be addressed through a review of site allocations in the joint plan.”
The draft plan has been agreed by all three authorities and people are being asked to comment before 21 December on the soundness of the plan and whether it is legally compliant.
It is intended to be the councils’ reference for planning decisions for the next 15 years.
Don Mackenzie, executive councillor for environmental services, said: “This plan has been three-and-a-half years in the making, and will become the bible for guiding future planning decisions. It has been amended and refined over this period by taking into account responses from extensive consultation and it gives robust protection to the environment and landscape of our beautiful county.”
Chris Metcalfe, executive member for waste, said: “We have adopted robust protective measures in this plan for our environment and for the health and wellbeing of our residents. They extend the protection already provided in national policy.
”We are now giving people the chance to make further representations on our plan in a consultation.”
The council processes 1,674,078 tonnes of waste each year, but expects this to grow to 1,924,065 tonnes by 2030. It currently has over 1,000,000 tonnes of landfill capacity but plans cut it to under 100,000 tonnes by 2030.
As well as EfW, the AWRP facility will include mechanical treatment, anaerobic digestion, and incinerator bottom ash processing.
Amey have posted a photo on their website of the EfW plant’s turbine hall (pictured).