ONE of Worcestershire's leading politicians says he will not be turning his back on the county's incinerator - despite warnings from neighbouring Birmingham.

Just as work is getting underway on a massive £160 million rubbish burner at Hartlebury, a new report from the Second City is urging Brum to dump incineration as a future tactic for dealing with waste.

Birmingham signed up to a 25-year contract in 1994 with multi-national firm Veolia for an incinerator which has operated in Tyseley and turns waste to energy.

A report for councillors in Birmingham was published in July claiming the deal proved to be "not future proof" and has seen the city miss out on a potential financial bonanza from recycling.

Their deal ends in 2019, and politicians in Brum are being urged to look for an alternative approach to dealing with rubbish once it expires.

In Worcestershire's case, the county council signed a deal with West Mercia Waste and the new incinerator will be in operation from 2017.

Campaigner Rob Wilden, from Hereford and Worcestershire Action Group (HWAG), wants County Hall's leadership to heed the warnings but his plea is being rejected.

Mr Wilden said: "You only have to look down the road to see how in Birmingham, they are beginning to think it was a mistake and are searching for new solutions for waste disposal.

"Yet at the same time we're building this massive incinerator here. Let's learn from them, not ignore these warnings."

But Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for the environment, has rejected the stance, pointing to a raft of evidence around the Hartlebury plant being what he calls the best option.

"Birmingham is a bigger authority than us, they have their own issues and I don't want to get into whether they've done it right or not," he said.

"Their contract was put in place a long time ago, and when it comes to their history of waste disposal they've got a chequered record, they've always been behind us.

"We've kept our methods and waste contract up to date, we've changed things when we needed to and our recycling record has been incredibly popular and successful.

"We have to dispose of our rubbish one way or another and I've said all along that this will give us waste security."

The council also says its landfill sites will be full by 2023 on current trends, and a 'do nothing' could see disposal costs spiral from £1.6 billion to £2.2 billion by 2042.

Rubbish from the plant will be collected from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire, burning it to generate electricity for the National Grid.

The site will be run by West Mercia Waste Management under the PFI deal, but will be handed back to Worcestershire and Herefordshire councils to operate from 2023.