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New Waste Treatment Facility Approved in Hertfordshire

The issue: Hertfordshire County Council has won its bid for a new waste treatment facility for Hertfordshire.  It will be able to process waste that cannot be recycled. It is currently planned to be built in New Barnfield, Hertfordshire.

The facility will turn waste into heat and then into power. But is this really the most environmentally friendly method of tackling waste in Hertfordshire?

The Facts: Reducing landfill will save Herts County Council millions of pounds worth of funds. If Herts County Council decided to take no action, over the next 30 years they would pay £544m in fines and costs of getting rid of landfill waste.

Herts County Council is unsure of the exact location of the site and hasn't provided any specific information on the type of technology that will be used.

The new waste treatment plant will be able to process 170,000 tons of waste per year. 

The case for: Hertfordshire produces 360,000 tones of waste that goes to landfill each year. Not all landfill can be recycled and the waste treatment facility offers an alternative to landfill that will dispose of the rubbish and reclaim energy from waste.

The new waste treatment facility will also create more jobs in Hertfordshire.

The case against: This is an expensive quick-fix solution. We should be investing in ways we can reduce landfill and getting more people to recycle. Hertfordshire only recycles 40% of its waste, if Hertfordshire County Council wants to be serious about recycling, it should be focusing on getting this target increased.

If Herts County Council was able to increase recycling and reusing, this site wouldn't be necessary. Herts County Council argue that there are many items that they can't recycle. Is this because Hertfordshire County Council has not properly invested in different types of recycling? Hertfordshire County Council should be focusing on other ways of cutting down on landfill waste, such as encouraging local businesses to stop using unnecessary packaging.

Have your say: Is your district council providing adequate recycling services? Is there a better solution to waste management in Hertfordshire? Is Hertfordshire County Council doing enough for the environment?

Please send us your views at:


05/05/2010 - 09:31 by Ken Ripper

Of course an incinerator will burn waste that cannot be recycled. It will also burn waste that can be recycled, which is almost all of it.

Building incinerators ties us into this as a solution for a generation or more. How can this be sensible when with the same amount of effort and cost we could successfully recycle, build a greener economy and make teh world a nicer place to live in.

Don't be drawn in by the specious argument that energy is being derived from waste. The net effect of burning is that most of the energy derived is used to burn more waste. Replacing the unseparated waste by manufacturing processes required many times more energy than has been derived from its being incinerated.

There is no common sense reason to incinerate beyond it being a quick, easy and dirty to a solution that politicians don't really want to tackle.

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