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Waste disposal alternatives 'could save £320m' on St Dennis incinerator contract

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

St Dennis Incinerator

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Cornwall Council could save up to £320 million if it considered alternatives to its controversial waste incinerator contract, a report said yesterday.

Opponents of the planned £117 million incinerator at St Dennis, in Mid Cornwall, commissioned the review from national waste experts Eunomia, which has advised both government and the European Commission.

Its report said the council could make potential savings of £320 million during the 30-year contract by pursuing alternatives, a figure which dwarfed the "relatively small" £125 million costs of abandoning the current deal with waste giant SITA.

Ken Rickard, chairman of the Cornwall Waste Forum's St Dennis Branch, said the council need to look again at the contract.

"We began our campaign because of our concerns about the impact on the environment and health of Cornwall, and our immediate community if an incinerator was built in St Dennis," he said.

"Over time we have found out more about the complex subject of waste management and become convinced that Cornwall Council boxed themselves into a corner when negotiating the private finance initiative contract with SITA.

"This has not offered value for money, or taken into consideration the huge changes taking place in waste disposal approaches elsewhere in the country.

"Councillors have understandably asked for evidence, which we have now provided and it is their responsibility to look into this contract and question waste treatment and disposal policy."

The row dates back to 2006, when the now-defunct Cornwall County Council signed a £500 million contract with SITA to handle the county's waste.

Objections to the incinerator were raised on health grounds, protecting the landscape and the size of the plant's 390ft (119m) chimney.

The fight ended up at the Supreme Court in July which refused to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said plans for the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre had been "thoroughly tested through the planning and legal processes" and found to be "a reliable and deliverable solution for managing Cornwall's waste".

He said: "Adopting a different approach would require the council to change its existing waste policy and develop a new policy.

"Not only would this mean carrying out further public consultation, the authority would also need to find alternative sites, procure a new contractor, enter into a new contract and obtain planning permissions."

He added: "Cornwall is rapidly running out of landfill space and to effectively start the process again is not a viable option."

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  • SensibleStuff  |  November 26 2012, 8:33AM

    No wonder we have a dark ages incinerator on our hands with these ridiculous comments. From what I understand the report was paid for by donations, brought about by brave people who want a justified solution. Clearly some people would prefer to pay through the nose for an incinerator and have money to burn, just to get a job done quick, rather than have responsibility for the time when they are gone. Some of us do have to count the pennies and did value contributing to the fundraising, even though I don't live near it. What a shame a website like this allows people to be talking in such a disrespectful way.

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  • josdave  |  November 21 2012, 8:12PM

    While it was very unpleasant in dry windy conditions I don't remember the people of St Dennis going to the high court to stop the clay dust from English China Clays. Nothing to do with them paying the best wages in Cornwall I suppose. This incinerator along with the alternatives such as anaerobic digesters and more racycling must come. As they(the council) have done nothing about an alternative and with the landfill site full to overflowing the incinerator must be put on line.

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  • kernewekonan  |  November 21 2012, 5:52PM

    i am afraid that i do not believe a word of it. looks to me that it is yet another trick by the cornwall waste forum st, dennis branch to what i see as intimidation to pressure people to go their way. they were shouting once about there was no democracy seems they have put that aside other than to what suits them most. the council should carry on with the planned incinerator as intended. some of these people like me are not young and should be looking at long term. after all the county is looking to grow and increase more tourists which in turn will produce even more waste. KEEP going with the incinerator.

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  • garyp2010  |  November 21 2012, 5:47PM

    @ thegeofflane,the chemical waste fumes that are exhausted out of the chimney don't dissipate into thin air,they land on the ground where our crops are grown,where the meat we eat are farmed,where are kids play and our fish swim.Dioxins and PCB's that are extremely dangerous and build up in our bodies over time being passed through the womb to newborns......our future.I agree recycling needs to be improved but so does the packaging on products,it's essential our children,the future have a chance to live and breath within a safe environment.The properties in St Dennis and surrounding areas are going to lose quite a bit of value if this build goes ahead,destroying the area where local people live.

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  • catweazel  |  November 21 2012, 5:41PM

    Usual twaddle from Cornwall Council. If councils in Surrey can recycle 51% then so can Cornwall, however the residents have to get over this ridiculous weekly rubbish collection issue and start to recycle properly. They are already paying the price for weekly collections because other services have been cut.Just what is the problem with recycling, get over it. I assume that TheGeofflane and fancyabrew do not live where the incinerator it to be built and have nothing better to do.

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  November 21 2012, 4:22PM

    perhaps if the incinerator also had a lap dancing club the people in st dennis might cheer up a bit

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  • TheGeofflane  |  November 21 2012, 3:03PM

    Fancyabrew,some months ago we had a 'footie' problem where you couldn't shout yourself h-0-a-r-s-e. The Daily Mail owns these papers and lives in such fear s-l-a-g- heaps cannot form part of the English language. I'm amazed I can go coarse fishing. Isn't it a wonderful world we live in.

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  • TheGeofflane  |  November 21 2012, 2:53PM

    How much was Eunomia paid to advise both the government and of course the European Commission? And from where did that money come? You, You and You. Until recycling is legally compulsary and enforced, Cornwall's huge poorly educated population will continue to believe, in a black bag, out of sight. Nothing, but risk of fines, will change that. We would be better off paying minimum wage to ENSURE nothing recyclable went in black bags than this bunch of do-gooders just waiting to become 'researchers', and then MPs. All paid for by us.

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  • shagrats  |  November 21 2012, 2:00PM

    Well I know just where the blame lies here, All of this is due to the lapdancing bars in Newquay. We never had any waste problems until those late night flesh pots started up. The sooner we get rid of them we can get back to a sense of normality as regards to waste disposal.

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  • fancyabrew  |  November 21 2012, 1:28PM

    ok it won't let me say s_l_a_g

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