West Norfolk campaigner’s fear over new county waste contract

Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn''Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator ENGANL00120131018141847
Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn''Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator ENGANL00120131018141847
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County council leaders insist the deal, which was announced on Monday, is good value for taxpayers and will give them time to find a sustainable long-term solution.

But Michael de Whalley, founder of King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN), which led the fight against the controversial Saddlebow proposal, is worried by the move.

He said the group remained committed to working with Norfolk County Council and other bodies to seek a way forward.

But he added: “The concern is that this arrangement keeps getting extended and we end up burning our waste in someone else’s back yard, which is the last thing we wanted.”

An initial agreement to send around 40,000 tonnes of waste to the plant in Great Blakenham was agreed by the Norfolk and Suffolk county councils last summer and was due to expire in the spring of next year.

The new arrangement extends that deal for a further four years, while officials hope deals for dealing with the county’s remaining rubbish for the same period are completed this autumn.

Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, has again ruled out the possibility of a new incinerator proposal being brought forward in the county.

And he insisted that any future proposals would accord with principals laid down by a waste advisory group set up in the wake of the termination of the incinerator contract last spring.

He said: “We still need a sustainable long-term solution that is acceptable to our communities in Norfolk.”

Mr de Whalley said he understood that interim solutions had to be found, but maintained their campaign was intended to prevent waste from being burned anywhere, not just in West Norfolk.

He also believes there are actions that councils in Norfolk should already be being taken in order to increase the amount of material that can be re-used.

He claims that as much as 40 per cent of the county’s food waste is still not being collected separately and more could also be done to separate garden waste from the residual collections.