Search

£100m bill for Norfolk’s rubbish to be burned in Kent and Bedfordshire

PUBLISHED: 07:51 27 June 2020 | UPDATED: 07:51 27 June 2020

The waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Norfolk County Council has been sending some of the county's waste there, but is set to sign a new £102m deal. Photograph Simon Parker

The waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Norfolk County Council has been sending some of the county's waste there, but is set to sign a new £102m deal. Photograph Simon Parker

Archant

Some 180,000 tonnes of rubbish produced by people in Norfolk each year looks likely to be sent to Kent and Bedfordshire to be burned in incinerators - at a cost of more than £100m.

Andrew Grant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment and waste. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Andrew Grant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment and waste. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

The six-year deal with Veolia, which Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council’s cabinet is due to agree, would see waste burned at Kemsley in Kent to begin with and then at Stewartby in Bedfordshire.

The Kent incinerator is run by Wheelabrator - the same company which the council had to pay more than £30m to after it scrapped plans for the company to build an incinerator in King’s Lynn.

However, that is a temporary measure, as from 2021 Norfolk’s would go to a burner being built in Bedfordshire.

Despite the £102m contract bill, council bosses say the deal will save about £2m a year, with most of the county’s waste currently being sent overseas and about 20,000 tonnes to the Great Blakenham incinerator in Suffolk.

The council says it means no waste from Norfolk will be sent directly to landfill and will save a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon emissions over the six years of the contract.

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSteve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

You may also want to watch:

Councillor Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet Member for environment and waste, said: “This deal is a win-win for taxpayers and the environment – saving £2m and 47,000 tonnes of carbon per year, by avoiding the need to dump waste in landfill sites.”

The council’s cabinet will consider the report a week on Monday, although, because the value of the contract is above £100m, it will also need to go before the full council.

But Steve Morphew, leader of the opposition Labour group, said: “There’s not enough information here. We need to know what happens to the residual waste.

“It’s no longer enough to turn it over to a contractor and wash your hands of responsibility. The complete chain has to be part of any contract so we don’t suddenly find Norfolk waste turning up where it shouldn’t.

“I also want to see incentives to ensure waste is reduced, not a perverse incentive that contractors make more from increased volumes.”

County Hall’s controversial proposals for an incinerator at Saddlebow in King’s Lynn were scrapped in 2014, after the council voted by 48 votes to 30 to terminate the contract.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News