Black bag waste contractors to be penalised for greenhouse gas emissions

The companies which win the £340million contracts to dispose of waste in Essex will be fined if carbon targets are not met.

It comes as the authority starts the process over which companies will win contracts for the county’s waste disposal worth £340million over seven years.

The contracts which will commence no later than April 1 2024, with an initial term of seven years will ensure that for every tonne of greenhouse gas over the bidder’s proposed target, they will get a £248 penalty.

If a bidder exceeds their annual target by producing fewer tonnes of harmful emissions, they can carry-over the surplus tonnage to offset in other years where they may have produced more.

However, Essex County Council will apply deductions if emissions are exceeded both in year and cumulatively.

This greenhouse gas element of waste contracts may have important consequences for any subsequent bid made by Indaver – currently buildings an waste for energy plant in Rivenhall that could potentially take around 600,000 tonnes of waste of year.

Indaver are committed to the incinerator part of the plans but wants to change the conditions of the original planning permission that includes a paper pulping plant, an anaerobic digestion facility to treat food and green waste thereby generating biogas for production of electricity on site, a materials recycling facility, and a mechanical biological treatment facility.

Councillor Malcolm Buckley, cabinet member for waste reduction and recycling said: “In terms of whether I can give an assurance that no contracts will be given to Indaver the simple answer is It depends on the way the bids go.

“We will have to consider each and every bid we receive however in terms of its compliance I would certainly want to see those resolved between the planning committee and applicant to make sure they were fully complaint with the planning consent they have were we to be working with them.”

The new scheme to ensure large quantities of waste generated by Essex households is not sent to landfill must allow for all types of waste treatment and disposal solutions, the county’s waste disposal authority has said.

However, it admits that due to the lack of residual waste treatment capacity in the market – particularly in the South and East of England – complete diversion from landfill cannot be guaranteed. Essex Council Council said it is “essential” all types of waste treatment and disposal solutions are considered.

The council has now agreed to go to tender for the management the treatment and disposal of Essex County Council’s residual waste for a seven-year period with an option to extend for up to a further seven-year period.

This term will allow time for the development and implementation of the new Essex waste strategy to cater for the long-term management of Essex County Council’s waste.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter