Councillor: I understand anger over waste plant

Worcester News: ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: Campaigners have been bitterly fighting the plan for a £120 million incinerator in Hartlebury. ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: Campaigners have been bitterly fighting the plan for a £120 million incinerator in Hartlebury.

A LEADING Worcestershire politician has admitted he can understand campaigners’ anger over proposals for a £120 million incinerator in Hartlebury.

Councillor John Smith said he “would not want it” in his own back yard but has insisted the plan is the best way of disposing of rubbish.

Coun Smith is a former cabinet member for the environment at Worcestershire County Council, and was one of the politicians responsible for exploring alternatives 10 years ago.

Campaigners from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Action Group have been bitterly fighting the plan, but despite the opposition £1.8 million is being spent on clearing the site for the scheme.

Coun Smith said: “I can understand the locals who don’t want it, if it was in your back yard or mine I wouldn’t want it either.

“But as a council we have taken independent advice on this and the answer is that this path is the right one to take.

“Many years ago when I was looking at all the options a new method was being developed whereby the waste could have been used as a substitute for concrete and other materials, but time has moved on now and this system is the best one we’ve got available.

“There may well be something even better in 50 years time, but we can’t afford to wait that long, we must find a solution now.

“We can’t do nothing – the amount of rubbish we are generating is increasing, more new homes are being built.

“Where will we dump all the rubbish? It can’t all go to landfill.”

The incinerator will power electricity to 20,000 homes by burning rubbish and is being launched under the management of West Mercia Waste.

Two weeks ago the county council’s cabinet agreed to investigate alternative funding for the facility amid concerns bank loans may not provide the best value for money.

In the meantime £1.8m has been put towards cleaning up the land.

Critics believe the total bill to taxpayers during the lifetime of the 25-year contract could reach £1 billion, but this has been rejected.

It will handle waste from Worcestershire and Herefordshire, where disposal costs total £39 million a year at the moment, and is likely to import rubbish from other counties.

Landfill taxes stand at £64 per tonne now, but will rise by £8 every year up to 2020, resulting in major pressure from the Government to find new solutions.

The new incinerators are also known as ‘energy from waste’ plants.

Comments (9)

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6:36pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Eve of Destruction says...

Coun Smith said: “I can understand the locals who don’t want it, if it was in your back yard or mine I wouldn’t want it either."

Exactly Mr Smith, that is so easy for you to say because it isn't in your back yard is it. According to the Worcestershire Count Council website you live in Evesham:

The Orchard
Malinshill Road
Hampton
Evesham
WR11 2QG

Do any Tory County Councillors live near the site? The closest I could find was Maurice Broomfield and he lives in Droitwich.

Coun Smith said "“Where will we dump all the rubbish? It can’t all go to landfill".

I have a suggestion where we could put some landfill. How about at The Orchard, Malinshill Road, Hampton, Evesham, WR11 2QG? Looks like you could dig quite a nice sized hole in the back yard of that plot.


Coun Smith said “But as a council we have taken independent advice on this and the answer is that this path is the right one to take".

Oh really... You paid someone to give you independant advice. Does anyone know who this was?

Another piece of green belt bites the dust thanks to our council. I find it sad because the principle of using rubbish to generate electricity could be a good one.
Coun Smith said: “I can understand the locals who don’t want it, if it was in your back yard or mine I wouldn’t want it either." Exactly Mr Smith, that is so easy for you to say because it isn't in your back yard is it. According to the Worcestershire Count Council website you live in Evesham: The Orchard Malinshill Road Hampton Evesham WR11 2QG Do any Tory County Councillors live near the site? The closest I could find was Maurice Broomfield and he lives in Droitwich. Coun Smith said "“Where will we dump all the rubbish? It can’t all go to landfill". I have a suggestion where we could put some landfill. How about at The Orchard, Malinshill Road, Hampton, Evesham, WR11 2QG? Looks like you could dig quite a nice sized hole in the back yard of that plot. Coun Smith said “But as a council we have taken independent advice on this and the answer is that this path is the right one to take". Oh really... You paid someone to give you independant advice. Does anyone know who this was? Another piece of green belt bites the dust thanks to our council. I find it sad because the principle of using rubbish to generate electricity could be a good one. Eve of Destruction
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Thu 3 Jan 13

THE FACTS says...

JUST GUESSING .. BUT WASNT THE LANDFILL SITES GREEN BELT BEFORE THEY WERE LANDFILL ?

THE STUFF HAS TO GO SOMEWHERE ... SOUNDS LIKE IT WILL GENERATE INCOME TOO.

WHY CANT IT GO ON A DISUSED LANDFILL SITE SITE ? LET ME GUESS...
JUST GUESSING .. BUT WASNT THE LANDFILL SITES GREEN BELT BEFORE THEY WERE LANDFILL ? THE STUFF HAS TO GO SOMEWHERE ... SOUNDS LIKE IT WILL GENERATE INCOME TOO. WHY CANT IT GO ON A DISUSED LANDFILL SITE SITE ? LET ME GUESS... THE FACTS
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Mrfade says...

The facts are; We do not need to incinerate or landfill; there are better cheaper options used by other councils. Waste levels are falling and there is increasing incinerator capacity in the West Mids. The incinerator could cost over £1 billion of taxpayers money with or without PFI, disgraceful when £100 million is being slashed from council budgets. Large quantities of recyclable waste is being landfilled why? 25% of what is burned is ash, much of which goes to landfill???

Councillor Smith, clearly a nimby himself, is badly informed like the rest of his contemporaries on WCC.
His nimby colleagues seem to have wasted 10 years trying to find a site no where near them, to burn waste, instead of looking at better options. They have also employed consultants to help pass this project at even further expense to tax payers.

Mr Smith does not realise that the nimby argument has long since moved on and the real issue is cost cost and even more cost.
Has Mr Smith heard of PFI?
Councils who have put the work in, now get much better deals for their tax payers, so Mr Smith taxpayers just need to replace the likes of you for someone who is better informed, no need to wait 50 years. Next May will be fine.

Some councils have recycling levels of over 60% and are paid for their recyclable material. At £26 per tonne this doesn’t sound much but for 200,000 tonnes a year that is a benefit of over £5 million pounds.
Currently this costs us over £5 million, so perhaps we are £10 million down to start with. The contractor then keeps all profit from selling the recyclable material.
There are currently no plans to connect to the national grid and a potential £100 million will be lost in revenue as the rural location means there is not potential to use the heat.
There is no final business case and the contract is a secret.
They seem to have a better understanding of the issues in Hereford. See http://www.herefordt
imes.com/news/local/
10129331.__120m_stil
l_needed_to_build_wa
ste_incinerator/?ref
=eb
The facts are; We do not need to incinerate or landfill; there are better cheaper options used by other councils. Waste levels are falling and there is increasing incinerator capacity in the West Mids. The incinerator could cost over £1 billion of taxpayers money with or without PFI, disgraceful when £100 million is being slashed from council budgets. Large quantities of recyclable waste is being landfilled why? 25% of what is burned is ash, much of which goes to landfill??? Councillor Smith, clearly a nimby himself, is badly informed like the rest of his contemporaries on WCC. His nimby colleagues seem to have wasted 10 years trying to find a site no where near them, to burn waste, instead of looking at better options. They have also employed consultants to help pass this project at even further expense to tax payers. Mr Smith does not realise that the nimby argument has long since moved on and the real issue is cost cost and even more cost. Has Mr Smith heard of PFI? Councils who have put the work in, now get much better deals for their tax payers, so Mr Smith taxpayers just need to replace the likes of you for someone who is better informed, no need to wait 50 years. Next May will be fine. Some councils have recycling levels of over 60% and are paid for their recyclable material. At £26 per tonne this doesn’t sound much but for 200,000 tonnes a year that is a benefit of over £5 million pounds. Currently this costs us over £5 million, so perhaps we are £10 million down to start with. The contractor then keeps all profit from selling the recyclable material. There are currently no plans to connect to the national grid and a potential £100 million will be lost in revenue as the rural location means there is not potential to use the heat. There is no final business case and the contract is a secret. They seem to have a better understanding of the issues in Hereford. See http://www.herefordt imes.com/news/local/ 10129331.__120m_stil l_needed_to_build_wa ste_incinerator/?ref =eb Mrfade
  • Score: 0

8:41am Fri 4 Jan 13

Arthur Blenkinsop says...

Unbelievable. How to ruin lives and countryside in one very dubious move.
Unbelievable. How to ruin lives and countryside in one very dubious move. Arthur Blenkinsop
  • Score: 0

9:53am Fri 4 Jan 13

Jabbadad says...

I realise that this proposal is not where I live, however the question to Coun Smith as to whether he knows PFI, well PFI is the most costly way of providing any services. Our Hospitals , Schools, Libraries, in fact anything provided by PFI will eventually cost at least TREBLE the original cost.
We could have built 3 hospitals in Worcestershire for the eventual cost of the Royal under PFI.
PFI of course was used by shallow but sly politicians because the figures don't show up in the budgets. Under labour we have accumulated hundreds of £millions of debts that will take 30 years and more to pay off, and then there is a clause that the original scheme has to be repaired almost to the original new standards, and the consortium's will profit again.
And NO despite what the greens (dreamers) think or say we cannot continue to bury waste in landfill sites.
Some years ago there were suggestions for filling old mine workings up, but I recall that this may have leaked into water courses and created a huge problem. As to the financial cost of incineration, we face a massive problem which will cost huge amounts of money to solve, so putting the money to one side and debate the method which will contribute towards the power shortages we face by **** footing around for years and being stopped by those who wish to have flowers in their hair and dance in circles 3 days of the year. We have to address energy needs and now. The last labor government did sweet nothing and now we are buying gas from Russia and Nuclear generated electricity from France. So we have to act quickly or get some candles in.
I realise that this proposal is not where I live, however the question to Coun Smith as to whether he knows PFI, well PFI is the most costly way of providing any services. Our Hospitals , Schools, Libraries, in fact anything provided by PFI will eventually cost at least TREBLE the original cost. We could have built 3 hospitals in Worcestershire for the eventual cost of the Royal under PFI. PFI of course was used by shallow but sly politicians because the figures don't show up in the budgets. Under labour we have accumulated hundreds of £millions of debts that will take 30 years and more to pay off, and then there is a clause that the original scheme has to be repaired almost to the original new standards, and the consortium's will profit again. And NO despite what the greens (dreamers) think or say we cannot continue to bury waste in landfill sites. Some years ago there were suggestions for filling old mine workings up, but I recall that this may have leaked into water courses and created a huge problem. As to the financial cost of incineration, we face a massive problem which will cost huge amounts of money to solve, so putting the money to one side and debate the method which will contribute towards the power shortages we face by **** footing around for years and being stopped by those who wish to have flowers in their hair and dance in circles 3 days of the year. We have to address energy needs and now. The last labor government did sweet nothing and now we are buying gas from Russia and Nuclear generated electricity from France. So we have to act quickly or get some candles in. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Fri 4 Jan 13

mayall8808 says...

I completely support this although i would like to see maybe two or three smaller ones the outskirts of the city not one big one that has to be filled by transporting so much so far,,then as to service the local area and generate electricity to the locals who use it, we cannot keep doing landfill, just look at Throckmorton hills? its just rubbish not a natural landscape at all and we should not be making more of them. Lets use the rubbish we all generate and recycle it into power for us all.
I completely support this although i would like to see maybe two or three smaller ones the outskirts of the city not one big one that has to be filled by transporting so much so far,,then as to service the local area and generate electricity to the locals who use it, we cannot keep doing landfill, just look at Throckmorton hills? its just rubbish not a natural landscape at all and we should not be making more of them. Lets use the rubbish we all generate and recycle it into power for us all. mayall8808
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Mrfade says...

Rather missing the point, we will not be generating energy for all of us, a total myth!
But we could be generating a large amount of revenue from selling our own recyclates. Much more than burning them.
Very little energy, very big costs for a few light bulbs. However, there are no plans at present to connect to the national grid.

We do not need to keep landfilling or burning, increase recycling and use cheaper better methods.
Huge amounts of ash is landfilled annually, and you would have 50,000 tonnes of incinerator ash to dispose of.
To be fair to the Greens they seem to understand the economics of this situation, as do UKIP and some of the others councillors from other parties, but not the Tories.The facts seem not to be well reported. Tiny particulates of persistent organic pollutants from burning plastic and dioxins etc may spread for miles before coming to ground. Why else have an 80 m stack?
There is little confidence in the monitoring process. If you like incineration there is lots of space in local incinerators, so why not use that, instead of committing to a potential cost of £1 billion.Not such a good idea.
Rather missing the point, we will not be generating energy for all of us, a total myth! But we could be generating a large amount of revenue from selling our own recyclates. Much more than burning them. Very little energy, very big costs for a few light bulbs. However, there are no plans at present to connect to the national grid. We do not need to keep landfilling or burning, increase recycling and use cheaper better methods. Huge amounts of ash is landfilled annually, and you would have 50,000 tonnes of incinerator ash to dispose of. To be fair to the Greens they seem to understand the economics of this situation, as do UKIP and some of the others councillors from other parties, but not the Tories.The facts seem not to be well reported. Tiny particulates of persistent organic pollutants from burning plastic and dioxins etc may spread for miles before coming to ground. Why else have an 80 m stack? There is little confidence in the monitoring process. If you like incineration there is lots of space in local incinerators, so why not use that, instead of committing to a potential cost of £1 billion.Not such a good idea. Mrfade
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Redhillman says...

Funny how every development that gets approved does not tend to be in the neighbourhood of where council officials and staff live.
Funny how every development that gets approved does not tend to be in the neighbourhood of where council officials and staff live. Redhillman
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

Cllr Smith says he understands the anger. Good.

But what he fails to understand is the economics and alternatives that are cheaper, cleaner, greener like AD, and better recycling.

If he does not understand that then he is better off keeping his mouth shut or taking the time to learn about the stuff he spouts on about. We are at the mercy of fools it seems and the old boys network closing ranks to support their own given the Tory cabinet has come in for quite some criticism over this.

I note that in cabinet Cllr Hardman identified the Greens and UKIP as the ONLY political objectioners, and they don't even have any county councillors. That might change come May 2013. Wonder what the other parties make of Hardman claiming they support this proposal?
Cllr Smith says he understands the anger. Good. But what he fails to understand is the economics and alternatives that are cheaper, cleaner, greener like AD, and better recycling. If he does not understand that then he is better off keeping his mouth shut or taking the time to learn about the stuff he spouts on about. We are at the mercy of fools it seems and the old boys network closing ranks to support their own given the Tory cabinet has come in for quite some criticism over this. I note that in cabinet Cllr Hardman identified the Greens and UKIP as the ONLY political objectioners, and they don't even have any county councillors. That might change come May 2013. Wonder what the other parties make of Hardman claiming they support this proposal? Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

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