‘It’s a waste – of money’

Cam­paign­ers say rub­bish trans­fer unit plans should be scrapped in light of £31m cuts

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

The county coun­cil wants to build the sta­tion on the A413 Amer­sham Road, and en­vis­age it sort­ing rub­bish from the south of the county be­fore it is trans­ferred to an in­cin­er­a­tor in the north of Bucks as part of a new £275m waste man­age­ment scheme in the county.

Last month, it an­nounced that was the sec­re­tary of state of com­mu­ni­ties and lo­cal gov­ern­ment had de­cided not to in­ter­vene in the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the site, which has given the project the go-ahead.

The county coun­cil es­ti­mates that the new waste sys­tem in Bucks will re­sult in sav­ings of £150m for tax­pay­ers over a 30 year pe­riod.

The En­vi­ron­ment Agency had also raised fears over the pos­si­bil­ity that the land is toxic and that waste con­tam­i­na­tion would have a dan­ger­ous ef­fect on the area’s drink­ing wa­ter.

How­ever, fol­low­ing a re­vised drainage plan for the trans­fer sta­tion, the En­vi­ron­ment Agency has with­drawn its ob­jec­tion to the ap­pli­ca­tion, sub­ject to a num­ber of con­di­tions.

Cam­paign group the Wasters say that re­cent an­nounce­ments about Bucks County Coun­cil’s needs to make sav­ings to its bud­get of £31m next year should mean that the waste trans­fer sta­tion project is scrapped.

It has ques­tioned the coun­cil’s es­ti­mated sav­ings, and says that the project will not be of ben­e­fit to peo­ple in Bucks.

A state­ment from the goup said: “Coun­cils run­ning busi­nesses and tak­ing busi­ness risks with our money is not ap­pro­pri­ate.” It added: “With de­ci­sions like this, is there any won­der our coun­cil are broke and who will be left to pay for it?

“You guessed it you and I, our chil­dren and gen­er­a­tions to come.

“By which time the coun­cil­lors who took th­ese de­ci­sions will have long gone and likely been awarded gongs for their ser­vice to the coun­cil.”

A coun­cil spokesman said, “The EfW project has been on­go­ing for sev­eral years and has been thor­oughly scru­ti­nised at ev­ery stage. The project has been sub­ject to wide pub­lic de­bate, and the fa­cil­ity at Great­moor will be open­ing next year.

“It will bring sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the pub­lic. The over­all saving of at least £150m is based upon a com­par­i­son of us­ing the new En­ergy from Waste fa­cil­ity against the more costly op­tion of con­tin­u­ing to land­fill over the next 30 years.

“The cal­cu­la­tions of waste ton­nages upon which the con­tract is based as­sume a coun­ty­wide re­cy­cling rate of around 60 per cent.”

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