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Green plan for Hertfordshire's household waste problem

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Hertfordshire County Council is set to stop sending household waste to landfill sites by 2025.

The authority has signed new long-term contracts so that residents' refuse, collected by councils like East Herts, that cannot be reused, recycled or composted will generate electricity as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

Sawbridgeworth Cllr Eric Buckmaster, the executive member for the environment, said: "We want to create a cleaner and greener environment in Hertfordshire, so being able to stop sending waste to landfill sites is really a significant step for us.

Refuse collection
Refuse collection

"Of course, we want to help our residents throw away less, and to reuse or recycle as much as possible, but we're still left with around 250,000 tonnes a year that we need to dispose of, and these new contracts will help us do that in a more environmentally sustainable way."

Hertfordshire residents produce around 540,000 tonnes of waste a year, and currently, 52% of this is reused, recycled or composted.

The authority has been wrestling with the issue of what to do with the excess since 2019, when the Government blocked two different proposals for a new energy recovery facility (ERF).

Cllr Eric Buckmaster (57542386)
Cllr Eric Buckmaster (57542386)

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government refused a plan for Hoddesdon after earlier rejecting a scheme for Hatfield. The plant would have taken the 250,000 tonnes of waste each year that cannot otherwise be reused, recycled or composted.

Instead, the council set up short-term contracts to send its landfill waste to Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and North London.

Under the new long-term contracts, once planned new shredding facilities are operational, all of Hertfordshire's residual waste will be able to be sent to energy recovery facilities, with none going to landfill.

The deals will run from April 2024 for 10 years, with an option to extend for another five. The contracts are with:

  • Cory Topco Limited (three separate contracts)
  • Indaver Rivenhall Limited
  • Viridor Oxfordshire Limited
  • Veolia ES UK Limited

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