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'There is enough landfill capacity'
8:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
THE chairman of an action group opposing the proposed Hartlebury incinerator has hit out at claims made by a councillor that the waste plant was the best option.
Ray Kirby, of Worcestershire Residents Against Incineration and Landfill (WAIL), said the latest waste management statistics issued by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), showed recycling was “successful in driving waste away from landfill”.
Worcestershire county Conservative councillor John Smith had claimed the energy-fromwaste plant was the best way of disposing of rubbish but Mr Kirby said the Defra figures showed the amount of waste going to landfill in the West Midlands had reduced from 1,666,000 tonnes in 2001/2002 to 661,000 tonnes in 2011/2012.
He added the amount recycled had increased from 290,0000 tonnes to 1,100,000 tonnes, while the amount going to incineration had only increased from 903,000 tonnes in 2000/2001 to 914,000 tonnes in 2011/2012.
He added: “We can conclude from these statistics that recycling works and is successful in driving waste away from landfill.
“As the amount of waste currently going to incineration has not significantly increased over the last decade it cannot be justifiably stated as a reason for the reduction of waste going to landfill, whereas recycling can.
“Assuming there is no further increase in recycling tonnage, we, therefore, have a total of 661,000 tonnes that can go to the current available incinerators, which have a capacity of 1,163,000 tonnes.
“So, councillor Smith, you can do nothing and save Worcestershire County Council more money than they are looking to cut in their annual budgets.
There is no logical case for increasing incinerator capacity.”
Conservative councillor Anthony Blagg, the county council’s cabinet member for the environment, said if the authority did nothing its costs would rise by more than £1.6million due to landfill tax.
He added although waste tonnage did fall, “indications for the current year are showing an increase”.
“In addition, the 2011/12 figures show that the quantity of waste that is not reused, recycled or composted in Worcestershire and Herefordshire is in excess of 200,000 tonnes,” he added.
“The proposed annual capacity of the EnviRecover energy-fromwaste plant is 200,000 tonnes and there are no plans to increase this capacity.”
He said landfill capacity would be used up by 2023, adding doing nothing was “not an option”.