County facing new incinerator shock

TWO huge incinerators could have to be built to deal with the amount of waste produced in Suffolk in future.

As a public examination of the county’s waste strategy was due to begin in Ipswich, the county council admitted that an incinerator proposed for Great Blakenham would cope with less than half Suffolk’s residual waste in the future.

Residual waste is rubbish which cannot be reused, recycled, or composted. It has now emerged that another incinerator could have to be built.

As well as Great Blakenham, another three sites are also up for consideration for waste treatment plants – although the county insists incineration is not the only option on the agenda.

Other sites under consideration for a waste treatment plant are at the old sugar beet factory at Sproughton, the Mason’s landfill site at Great Blakenham – opposite the already-planned incinerator – and Eye airfield.

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David Palk, from the county council, insisted that the authority was neutral on what kind of plant should be developed to handle the rest of the waste.

He said: “It could be incineration, it could be biological and mechanical extraction.”

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The county is expected to produce about 600,000 tonnes of residual waste a year. The incinerator at Great Blakenham will be able to handle between 250,000 and 270,000 tonnes a year. A further 100,000 will be able to be disposed of privately – leaving about 250,000 tonnes that needs to be treated or burned. Councillor with responsibility for planning Guy McGregor said dropping this in landfill sites was not an option.

He said: “There is the landfill tax to be considered and the fact is we do not have the space to fill up more holes with rubbish.”

Residents living near Eye have already started a campaign against the airfield being used as a site for an incinerator – or any other waste plant.

Paul Geelmuyden, who lives at Yaxley, said many residents felt there had been insufficient consultation once the initial proposals were published.

“In Stanton there were 618 objections and the proposal was dropped. The Eye proposal attracted only eight objections – that may well have been because those in Yaxley and Thrandeston were not informed – yet 76 of the 200 acres being considered by the county for the plant are in the parish of Yaxley.”

A public examination of the county’s waste strategy gets under way today in the IP-City Centre in Ipswich and is due to last 10 days.

Inspector Susan Holland will hear submissions from council officers and from those opposed to the proposed development. She will then produce a report accepting the county’s waste strategy, rejecting it, or proposing amendments before it is adopted.

The county hopes to hear her verdict in October and to then be able to formally adopt the waste strategy at its full council meeting in early December.

If the proposed strategy is adopted it will then be able to consider an application from its preferred bidder SITA to build the first incinerator – which would burn waste to create electricity – at the highways depot in Great Blakenham early next year.

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