The inter-county deal, which sees some of Norfolk’s waste dealt with at Suffolk County Council’s new energy from waste (EFW) plant has been extended for a further four years, to 2020.
The extension has been agreed as part of Norfolk County Council’s work to secure four years’ worth of waste services, using facilities that are already up and running inside or outside Norfolk, to replace its current arrangements which end in 2016 that deal with the 210,000 tonnes of rubbish left after recycling (residual waste) that Norfolk generates each year.
Toby Coke, chairman of the county council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “I am pleased that we have extended our agreement with Suffolk as it is vital that we have secure arrangements in place to deal with Norfolk’s residual waste. I am confident that this autumn we will have pinned down services for dealing with the remaining 170,000 tonnes each year for the next four years.
“But we still need a sustainable long-term solution that is acceptable to our communities in Norfolk.
“That is one of our most pressing tasks because, with the benefits of the economic growth forecast for our county and with more new homes being built here, it is inevitable that we will be dealing with more waste in our county in the future.
“We hope to have that settled by 2020. But whatever we agree is right for Norfolk, it will be in line with the 20 waste policies that the County Council agreed in December last year.
“In a nutshell, that means no incinerator will be built in our county to deal with our residents’ waste and we will be looking for waste services that squeeze more valuable resources out of our rubbish.
“And wherever possible we will be looking to use smaller local area waste treatment facilities so that we deal with waste as close to the places where it was generated as possible.”
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, Matthew Hicks, said: “This is an extension of current arrangements which benefit both local authorities, saving each county in the region of £1million between 2014 and 2016. The extension of this agreement will not increase the volume of waste moved into Suffolk and the number of trucks transporting waste from Norfolk will not change.
There are currently eight movements each day, moving around 40,000 tonnes of residual waste from Norfolk.
“This is a good deal for taxpayers in both counties with both councils benefitting from economies of scale, because sending more waste to the Great Blakenham plant reduces the treatment cost per tonne.”