Essex town may become 'London's dustbin'
A NORTH Essex town could become a dustbin for London's rubbish after a massive waste treatment plant was given the go-ahead, campaigners have claimed.Friends of the Earth voiced its concern after the development, capable of processing 250,000 tonnes of household waste annually, was approved near Colchester.
A NORTH Essex town could become a dustbin for London's rubbish after a massive waste treatment plant was given the go-ahead, campaigners have claimed.
Friends of the Earth voiced its concern after the development, capable of processing 250,000 tonnes of household waste annually, was approved near Colchester.
The environmentally-friendly plant at Stanway Hall Quarry, Stanway, will deal with household black bag waste - taking out stones, glass and metals for recycling with the remainder treated and put into the ground.
About 50,000 tonnes of kitchen and garden waste will also be dealt at an anaerobic digestion plant on the site which borders Warren Lane and Maldon Road, with biogas from the compost used to produce electricity.
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Councillors gave the plan the green light yesterday, with a condition that it only deals with waste from Essex - but campaigners still fear London rubbish could end up there.
The waste plant will operate for 25 years, and landfill would then continue for up to another 12 years before the land is handed over to Colchester for leisure purposes.
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It will create more than 400 lorry movements in and out of the Stanway site during weekdays when combined with the existing quarry operation which has permission for more than 120.
Paula Whitney, chairwoman of Colchester Friends of the Earth, said it was a “sad day for Stanway, Colchester and Essex” - and feared London waste could end up in the landfill.
She said: “This is totally wrong - Friends of the Earth nationally are against this sort of thing and there is no need for this.
“It just does not add up, if Essex hits its recycling targets of 60%, that would leave 280,000 tonnes to be dealt with and this site alone would deal with 250,000 tonnes. I am worried that we could even end up processing London's residual waste.”
Anne Turrell, the ward councillor for Mile End and Highwoods, said Stanway had one of the best recycling rates in Colchester.
She said: “How would you feel if you are a responsible recycler in the area, only to be rewarded with this on your doorstep?
“There will be 37 years of disruption and would you like to go through 37 years of disruption for some leisure land in your area?”
But Gerald Owen, planning and development manager for the applicants Cory Environmental Ltd, said the plant would help the county achieve its recycling and composting targets and reduce landfill.
Peter Martin, the county councillor in charge of environment, planning and assets, said: “Dealing with waste is one of the single biggest issues facing Essex at the moment.
“Doing nothing is not an option, but changing the way we deal with it is. Recycling is key to the way we go forward.
“It is important to note that no decision around which sites in Essex will be used for waste disposal has been taken yet, so this planning permission is not an indication in itself that Stanway will be used.”