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POLL: More than half of Norfolk's waste is still being burnt four years after the King's Lynn incinerator was scrapped, but do you care?

By Lynn News Reporter

Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn..Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator. (5300692)
Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn..Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator. (5300692)

Contracts to ship waste out of Norfolk to be burnt could be extended under plans to be discussed tomorrow.

More than four years have passed since plans to build a waste incinerator on the edge of Lynn were dropped.

But a new report has revealed nearly 200,000 tonnes of rubbish were sent to be processed in similar facilities elsewhere last year - a figure described as a “scandal” by one councillor.

However, officials claim that efforts to find longer-term solutions are being thwarted for now by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Members of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee are being urged to approve a 12 month extension to the authority’s waste processing contracts, to take them to 2021, at a meeting tomorrow morning.

The current arrangements allow for up to 165,000 tonnes of residual waste, which cannot be recycled, to be turned into a fuel locally before being shipped to mainland Europe to be incinerated. A further 50,000 tonnes is processed at an incinerator in Suffolk.

The report said that in 2017-18, 199,281 tonnes of waste was sent to incineration processes.

The authority says the process, which it described as “energy recovery”, accounted for just over half of all the household rubbish collected in the county, while 46 per cent of it is recycled. Around 1.5 per cent was sent to landfill.

But councillor Alexandra Kemp, whose Clenchwarton and Lynn South division includes the Saddlebow site where an incinerator was previously proposed for, says the figures showed current arrangements weren’t working.

She said: “It is a scandal that nearly all Norfolk’s residual waste is still being incinerated.

“There needs to be some action now. The Waste Partnership has failed and we need a Waste Advisory Group back at County Hall.”

But a council spokesman said: “The longer term approach will be established later in 2019 after updated national policy on recycling and waste is published and the outcome of Brexit is clear.”


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