Now Sheffield pleads for Dearne waste!

UNDER-POWERED: The Sheffield incinerator is begging for waste.
UNDER-POWERED: The Sheffield incinerator is begging for waste.

Times EXCLUSIVE

AS MANVERS faces being dumped on with an incinerator that locals don’t want, the company running Sheffield’s incinerator is begging for this area’s rubbish... because it CAN’T fill it!

As recycling grows, the volume of waste generated in the city is falling – and bosses at Veolia (Sheffield) Environmental Services say that their £45m burner, opened four years ago, will soon be running at a shortfall.

Now, as Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham (BDR) councils get set to announce their preferred waste scheme for Manvers, Veolia has applied for planning permission to up their quota of waste taken from other areas – from 10 per cent to 22 per cent, or 50,000 tonnes.

And they want to include rubbish from the BDR area, to run their Bernard Road furnace “efficiently”.

A Veolia spokesman said it would prefer this to be a long-term arrangement... or Veolia will have to look even further afield for commercial and industrial waste to feed the furnace.

He said: “This is a temporary application to await the outcome of the planned construction of new treatment facilities in the Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire areas.

“A long-term, stable supply of municipal waste is always preferable but we are able to take suitably combustible commercial and industrial waste.”

Handling 225,000 tonnes of waste, the Sheffield incinerator is similar in size to that proposed for Manvers, by SITA Lend Lease. It provides heat to buildings across the city, through the district energy network.

Now the Manvers AIM (Against Incineration at Manvers) campaign group is demanding to know how a proposed incinerator for the area can be deemed viable.

This month, the BDR Waste Partnership is expected to choose its Manvers waste plant – from “finalists” SITA Lend Lease, who propose an incinerator and 3SE – a consortium of Shanks Group and Scottish and Southern Energy – who are offering a composting scheme.

The winning scheme will be subject to planning permission but construction could begin at Manvers as early as Spring 2013, with the plant opening two years later.

Either scheme will mean hundreds of waste lorries per week pouring into the Manvers area from all three boroughs.

Meanwhile, AIM is objecting to any form of waste plant – on grounds of road traffic issues, health risk to people in surrounding homes in the designated eco-valley, and as a pro-recycling movement.

Spokeswoman Sue Sharp claimed: “An incinerator that does not burn at full capacity can cause pollution and dioxins that cannot be measured.

“We feel the BDR group are being cavalier in their attitude towards the people of the Dearne and are trying to whitewash the dangers to health.

“America has stopped building incinerators... why haven’t we?”

Future waste figures for the area have been based on the BDR authorities’ housing growth potential – but this has been slashed severely, recently, to cut costs and meet government budget restrictions.

The BDR’s Joint Waste Plan says: “Additional housing growth is key to figures projected for future rubbish consignments”.

It adds that “significant” growth was planned over the BDR region in the next 10 years.

The plan sets out schemes to deal with waste locally, ‘while allowing some waste to be imported or exported’.

By 2015, the amount of household waste to be recycled and composted by Doncaster is 60 per cent – but only 45 per cent for both Barnsley and Rotherham. Recent studies show up to 93.3 per cent of waste can be recycled.

Delivery of the plan depends on the close partnership between the three councils, the waste industry and landowners, but there has been considerable discord between the authorities already – with Doncaster’s elected Mayor Peter Davies publicly backing the Times campaign AGAINST the plant!

And recently, project director Geoff Birkett was canned – in favour of a new boss, solicitor, John Holden-Ross.