A high-tech future for waste disposal
- Published 18/08/11 7:00 am
Members of the borough council's executive board have authorised officers seek expressions of interest from firms using any proven technology.
Cllr David Keane, the council's executive member for environment and public protection said: "We are technology neutral. We will not indicate a preferred waste treatment technology."
He told the board there were no suitable sites in Warrington for a non-landfill waste disposal facility.
There were not many in the North West either = but facilities existed or are planned at Runcorn, Widnes, Northwich and Leyland. There was also the possibility of a site in St Helens and more could come to light.
Warrington's current waste disposal contract is with Waste Recycling Group (WRG) and expires on January 31, 2013 when tipping at the Arpley Landfill site is due to stop.
Cllr Keane praised council staff and residents for helping to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill from Warrington by co-operating with recycling initiatives.
Cllr Hitesh Patel said the people of Bewsey and Whitecross would welcome any decrease in the amount of waste taken by road to Arpley.
"Most of it comes from outside the borough," he said. "Can we do more to persuade other authorities to share our own good practice?"
Household waste sent to landfill at Warrington has fallen from 82,922 tonnes in 2004-05 to 53,538 tonnes last year while household waste recycled has increased from 13,244 tonnes to 22,001 over the same period. Household waste composted has increased from 5,020 tonnes to 17,884.
Sending waste to landfill is becoming an expensive option, because of landfill tax. Currently, Warrington pays £56 per tonne but the level will rise by at least £8 per tonne per year until 2014.
The Government wants to see the amounts of waste collected by councils reduced and diverted away from landfill towards the generation of energy.
Environmental campaigners have expressed concern that Warrington may not be moving quickly enough.
Local campaigner John Mulhall said: "A new high technology facility, whether it is in Warrington or elsewhere, cannot be built overnight. By the time there is a public inquiry and with construction work, it could take five years to get a new plant operational.
"We could end up being forced to extend the life of the Arpley landfill site because there is no other solution available."
Pictured: Cllr David Keane (top) and Cllr Hitesh Patel.