Going Green to reduce landfill

PUBLISHED: 11:14 17 May 2007 | UPDATED: 22:47 28 May 2010

An impression of the new proposed treatment plant

An impression of the new proposed treatment plant

COUNCIL chiefs have unanimously backed a major new contract that could see thousands of tonnes of waste composted or recycled rather than ending up in landfill. Yesterday, Tuesday, members of Cambridgeshire County Council s Full Meeting agreed the author

A landfill

COUNCIL chiefs have unanimously backed a major new contract that could see thousands of tonnes of waste composted or recycled rather than ending up in landfill.

Yesterday, Tuesday, members of Cambridgeshire County Council's Full Meeting agreed the authority should sign a 28 year long term contract with local company Donarbon Limited to help reduce Cambridgeshire's growing waste problem.

Once signed the £750 million contract, the largest of its kind for the authority, will see the building of the most modern recycling facilities in the eastern region at Waterbeach.

The company propose to build a mechanical biological treatment plant which first sorts black bag rubbish, removes material for recycling and produces a compost like material. The scheme also includes a visitor centre where people and schools can learn more about recycling and the plant which uses environmentally friendly methods to treat the waste.

Additional facilities for the composting of kerbside collected kitchen and garden waste will also be provided under the new contract.

Donarbon propose building the plant on their existing Waste Management Park at Waterbeach located off the A10 between Waterbeach and Chittering. This is already used for sorting, recycling, treating and composting green waste from Cambridgeshire.

The County already tops recycling leagues and is a Beacon Council with its District Council partners for waste and recycling. But it still has to spend £7 million each year landfilling thousands of tonnes of rubbish that cannot currently be treated.

Government will fine authorities £150 for every tonne they go over strict landfill limits. If Cambridgeshire does nothing the County is set to run out of landfill allowances by 2010 and face fines running into millions of pounds a year. Meanwhile landfill space is running out fast in the eastern region.

The new contract would reduce the thousands of tonnes of rubbish that goes to landfill and deal with waste that currently is not or cannot be recycled.

Donarbon now have planning permission to build the new Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility at Waterbeach.

European countries such as Germany and Austria, who are world leaders in recycling, already use the technology. This system also has the added benefit that new technologies and treatments can be added in the future.

The Waste PFI Project is a long-term Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract that includes the design, build and management of new facilities to treat household waste from Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor John Reynolds, Planning and Regional Matters Portfolio Holder, said: "Cambridgeshire has record breaking recycling rates but we can do better. We cannot carry on dumping rubbish that can't be recycled in landfill. Not only is it bad for the environment but will cost Cambridgeshire millions of pounds in Government imposed tax and fines. This new contract will be more environmentally friendly and cheaper than continuing to landfill and will see Cambridgeshire once again leading the way in waste management. However, this is just a part of our overall strategy to reduce Cambridgeshire's rubbish. We will carry on urging residents to shop smarter and create less waste in the first place as well as reuse and recycle their rubbish."

More information about the Waste PFI Project is available on the County Council's website at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/wastepfi

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