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Incinerator Report

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1:31pm 20th November 2012
(Updated 1:31pm 20th November 2012)

Campaigners say Cornwall could save an "astonishing" amount of money by scrapping a giant incinerator.

They are revealing an independent report into how the Duchy's waste is handled.

It claims doing more recycling would be hundreds of millions cheaper than the St Dennis scheme.

You can read the full report here:  Eunomia Cornwall waste assessment Nov 12 (pdf)

Speaking on behalf of Cornwall Waste Forum, St Dennis Branch, Chairman Ken Rickard said:

“We began our campaign because of our concerns about the impact on the environment and health of Cornwall, and our immediate community if an incinerator was built in St Dennis.  Over time we have found out more about the complex subject of waste management and become convinced that Cornwall Council boxed themselves into a corner when negotiating the PFI contract with SITA. This  has not offered value for money, or taken into consideration the huge changes taking place in waste disposal approaches elsewhere in the country.  Councillors have understandably asked for evidence, which we have now provided and it is their responsibility to look into this contract  and question waste treatment and disposal policy. ”

Campaigners reckon £20 million a year could be saved by scrapping the incinerator and recycling more, including our food waste.

St Dennis Councillor Fred Greenslade said he hoped officials would finally sit up and listen:

"It's a tremendous amount of money. It would keep old people safe, it'd help our schools. An immense amount of work could be done with it. We need to look at every avenue in these difficult times.

"It's very difficult with the restraints that the contract puts on us to change policy but, with these immense savings, it would seem the most sensible thing to do."

Atlantic Energy’s Charmian Larke, technical advisor, who has co-ordinated the report continued:

 “This is no longer just about incineration, although our objections stand; it is about the validity of Cornwall Council’s waste management policy and the urgent need for Councillors and Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive to finally get a grip on the runaway costs of the disposal contract.

“By refusing to consider Cornwall Waste Forum’s alternative suggestions which include separate food waste collection with anaerobic digestion and automated residual waste sorting,  the Council has refused to consider options which could save £ hundreds of millions.  This is clearly unacceptable.  We now have clear independent evidence which must make every Councillor sit up and interrogate waste management in Cornwall more fully.

“These findings are in fact good news.  The case for reviewing waste management is persuasive and the savings a real opportunity for Cornwall Council to take pressure off other budgets.  An example of savings is that Cornwall Council is paying over £50/tonne to dispose of valuable dry recycling which has a resale value of up to £250 per tonne for some common materials – so SITA are getting paid twice! ”

Co-author of the report and Eunomia Director Joe Papineschi, who recently advised Cornwall Council on their new waste collection contract, explained the background of the report:

 “The purpose of our report is not to find fault with historic decisions, but to look at what decisions, if any, could be taken in the future to give Cornwall better financial and environmental outcomes for waste.  Due to its origins in the late 1990’s, the existing contract, eventually let in 2006, no longer reflects the policy, legislative and technology context of waste management.  Based on credible estimates of the basis upon which the council is charged for waste disposal, the contract appears to offer extremely poor value for money.”

1:31pm 20th November 2012

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