Far, far ha’way – Herts rubbish could end up in North East, councillors told

PUBLISHED: 17:06 30 May 2020

The option of transporting waste to the North East of England was discussed at the latest cabinet meeting. Picture: HCC

The option of transporting waste to the North East of England was discussed at the latest cabinet meeting. Picture: HCC


Hertfordshire’s waste could be moving North, as the county council continues its search for somewhere to dispose of future rubbish.

Herts county council had hoped all future waste generated by the county could be used to produce heat and electricity at a planned energy recovery facility.

But plans to build that facility – first in Hatfield and then in Hoddesdon – were rejected by the Secretary of State.

Now, the county council is looking at what will happen to waste in the longer term as part of a procurement process for a new contract.

The option of transporting waste to the North East of England was discussed as a viable option, at the latest meeting of the county council’s cabinet.

It was reported to councillors that the North East has a high number of residual waste treatment facilities, and it was said that the high capacity – combined with the low competition for space – would mean the price would be “more competitive”.

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While the report suggests that the cost of transferring waste by road would likely be “financially prohibitive”, early estimates have suggested rail could be an option.

According to projections in the report, transfer of the county’s 250,000 tonnes of residual waste to the North East would require around 237 trains a year.

However, the estimated cost of £1.9m is said to be broadly the same as the cost of transporting waste to nearer facilities in Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and North London by road.

At the meeting of the cabinet, executive member for community safety and waste management Cllr Terry Hone criticised the Secretary of State’s decision to reject plans for an energy recovery facility in the county.

He told the cabinet it was “very, very disappointing” that council plans for its own energy recovery facility have been rejected.

“Trucks going round, backwards and forwards, from our stations to the energy recovery facilities, to wherever we are shipping them out of county, is equivalent nearly every year of going around the globe 30 times,” Cllr Hone said.

“That is a lot of trucks going a lot of distances – and generating a lot of pollution. The planned energy recovery facility would have lasted 30 years and would have, in effect, saved us the equivalent of £100m in traffic costs.”

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