SIR – £1.6 billion may cover our waste disposal, according to Councillor Blagg (letters, January 2), but...

What about the cost of the incinerator itself?

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Action Group have always understood that the £1.6 billion covers the cost of the whole waste disposal service.

However the county council and various councillors have for over three years been perfectly happy to quote a cost of £120 million for building the proposed incinerator.

Now it appears the actual cost has risen to £165 million, an increase of almost 40 per cent.

What they have failed to mention is that the total cost of building and running the incinerator will amount to £947 million out of that £1.6 billion.

That figure is pretty close to our original claim of the ‘£1billion pound burner’.

It is claimed that doing nothing is not an option, but it is unfortunate that the council have not fully considered higher recycling options that could deal with waste for less than £40 per tonne, instead of the £123 per tonne cost to burn it.

It is right to congratulate the residents of both counties for helping to re-use, recycle or compost 142,160 tonnes of household waste last year, (according to Defra’s figures).

However it is unfortunate that the council, according to their recent cabinet report, do not expect to improve the recycling rate beyond 44.9 per cent in the future.

It is well proven that re-use, recycling and composting are far better for the environment than either landfill or incineration.

The proposed incinerator will be ‘pumping-out’ 168,000 tonnes of climate-changing gases every year.

As for preventing waste, the main strategy appears to be giving everybody smaller bins.

The change to annual costs, in moving from landfill to incineration in 2017, suggests that the council will be spending £20 million to ‘save’ £11 million.

That does not make sense.

Maybe now is the time to be more economic with our money and less economic with the facts.