Composter, not incinerator, for Manvers

An artist's impression of the new composter earmarked for Bolton Road, Manvers.
An artist's impression of the new composter earmarked for Bolton Road, Manvers.

SPECIAL REPORT

THERE will be NO incinerator at Manvers... but there WILL be a giant mechanical-biological treatment plant on the Bolton Road site.

Specialist waste organisation 3SE will develop the facility to treat household waste from the boroughs of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.

Yet even as anti-incinerator campaigners were celebrating the news, they were gearing up for battle again – over the traffic that will flood in and out of the new plant.

Bolton resident Sue Sharp of Dearne Valley AIM (Against Incineration at Manvers) said: “Naturally we are pleased not to get an incinerator, and we believe we have had some impact on that decision – that our opposition made the authorities stop and think.

“But where do we go from here? We are very concerned about the huge amount of traffic that will be generated by the composting unit – that’s our main worry. We are also told there won’t be smells spreading from the plant... but will that be the case?

“We still feel this is not the right place for any waste scheme of this size – the infrastructure just isn’t good enough.

“We are also unhappy that the BDR Waste Partnership promised to keep us in the loop at all times, but never has! We have had to find out facts through the Times, or on our own!”

AIM was to meet this week to discuss a reaction to the councils’ decision.

Contracts will be drawn up between the BDR Partnership and 3SE within months, and as the new scheme is subject to planning permission, there must now be a detailed consultation when local people can have their say about any part of the plan that troubles them.

Traffic routes and projections must be laid bare, for residents to scrutinise and comment on.

3SE intends to process black and grey bin waste to produce a solid recovered fuel.

An anaerobic digestion plant will also produce sustainable energy and a bio-compost. The solid fuel will be taken to a yet-to-be developed multi-fuel plant at Ferrybridge – next to the power station – where it will help generate electricity.

Grange Lane transfer station at Barnsley will be used to hold waste in bulk, with a shredding operation to be set up.

There is speculation over why the BDR partnership chose to scrap the incinerator. But it is thought that problems experienced by the Veolia company at Sheffield may have influenced the decision. That incinerator had a shortfall of fodder which sent bosses begging for more waste from the BDR authorities, to keep the oven running at capacity.

People Against Incineration (PAIN) campaigner Shlomo Dowen said: “I expect the BDR partnership has gone against old school, mass-burn incineration, at least in part, because of the problems Veolia are experiencing sourcing feedstock in and around Sheffield.

“We remain sceptical of the plans for producing solid recovered fuel, but are very pleased for the residents of the Dearne, who must be relieved not to be having an incinerator forced upon them.

“The decision raises issues for the residents of Hatfield, Doncaster – who are facing another incinerator proposal as part of the Doncaster Energy from Waste (DEW) project.

“Anti-incineration campaigners will be celebrating, while also keeping an eye out for the DEW application.”

A spokeswoman for the BDR Partnership said: “Both bids were of an excellent quality, and the evaluation criteria meant that the most economically advantageous bid won”.

The BDR Partnership has secured £77.4m of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding towards the cost of the scheme from the Government. Successful bidder 3SE consists of a partnership between Shanks Group PLC and Scottish and Southern Energy plc.

* The Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham Joint Waste Plan has now been published – and there is a six-week period for people and organisations to give feedback.

Copies of the plan and response forms will be on each council’s website, in libraries, main council offices and customer service centres.

The Joint Waste Plan identifies waste sites – including Aldwarke steelworks complex and Bolton Road at Manvers, along with Sandall Stones Road and Hatfield Power Park at Doncaster.

It deals with all kinds of waste and shows the criteria within which decisions will be made over the next 15 years, on how waste is handled.

The deadline by which people can comment on the plan, is 5pm on May 23. After that date, the plan will be submitted to the Government for scrutiny. Once it is adopted, the Joint Waste Plan will form part of each borough’s new Development Framework.