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Norfolk’s rubbish could be heading down the A140 to Suffolk, if councils can strike a deal

PUBLISHED: 08:10 06 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:29 06 May 2014

An artist's impression of the new incinerator which is due to open in Great Blakenham this summer.

An artist's impression of the new incinerator which is due to open in Great Blakenham this summer.

Rubbish from Norfolk looks increasingly likely to be heading for Suffolk to be burned, with council leaders set to agree a deal for waste to be incinerated over the border.

Norfolk County Council last month voted to pull the plug on the contract for an incinerator to be built and run at King’s Lynn, after officers said it no longer offered value for money.

That has left the council looking for alternative ways to deal with its waste. Talks had already taken place with Suffolk County Council over whether it could be burned at the Great Blakenham incinerator, which is due to open this summer.

And, at a meeting of the controlling Labour/Liberal Democrat cabinet next week, councillors will be asked to push ahead with an attempt to strike a deal with Suffolk.

Officers want councillors to give them the green light to try to enter into an agreement which would see a maximum of 50,000 tonnes a year sent to Suffolk to be burned.

The council is looking to send 35,000 tonnes of waste to Suffolk - which would mean about 50 lorry trips a day up and down the A140.

The initial term of such a deal would be limited to no longer than three years and any agreement would have to save Norfolk County Council more than £10,000 a year.

The cost per tonne would be based on a combination of Suffolk County Council’s actual costs, a proportional share of the council’s overheads and the cost of getting the rubbish to Great Blakenham.

Officers state that Suffolk County Council would not be able to generate a profit from dealing with Norfolk’s waste and acknowledge that such a deal will hinge on whether it would be commercially and contractually viable.

The Great Blakenham incinerator has capacity for 269,000 tonnes of waste a year and a commitment from Suffolk to send 170,000 tonnes a year.

Norfolk produces 210,000 tonnes of rubbish a year, so the Suffolk solution would not be a complete one.

Norfolk currently sends waste to Kent to be burned, to landfill and has a contract for waste to be dealt with at a mechanical biological treatment plant in Cambridgeshire.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: “This gives the green light to work on the detail that could lead to a formal arrangement and it sets out the criteria for such an agreement.

“If those details proved to be acceptable, this type of solution with a neighbouring authority would definitely give us more options and flexibility for dealing with some of the household waste that is generated in Norfolk every year after we’ve recycled.”

Norfolk County Council’s cabinet will make its decision on Monday.

• Do you have a story about a local council? Call public affairs correspondent Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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