�800m deal to cut landfill waste

Herts County Council this week signed a �800m 25-year deal with Veolia Environmental Services (VES) for a new waste treatment facility that the authority says will cut expensive landfill tax to the bare minimum.

The new site in Hatfield will handle upwards of 180,000 tonnes of non-recycled waste a year, recovering an estimated 28,000 tonnes of additional recyclable material and generating up to 26.6 megawatts of electricity from the remaining waste – enough to power 50,000 homes.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has committed �115m to the project.

The council said even after the cost of the project is taken into consideration, the deal will save Herts’ tax payers �31m a year.

Executive member for waste management at County Hall, Derrick Ashley, said Veolia offered the best all round solution to managing the county’s waste, allowing for anticipated increases in household recycling.

“The contract with Veolia not to interfere with expected increases in the level of recycling has been negotiated with a minimum tonnage of 180,000 tonnes. Based on our original waste projections, this minimum tonnage will allow us to recycle up to around 75 per cent by the end of the contract without any financial penalty to the council.

“The final contract has worked out to be better value than we originally estimated and will potentially save Hertfordshire’s taxpayers at least �779 million on the cost of waste disposal over the 25-year contract period.”

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Denis Gasquet, CEO of VES, said: “This facility is purpose-designed to treat Hertfordshire’s residual waste via a sustainable approach that boosts recycling and creates low carbon renewable energy while maximising landfill diversion. We look forward to working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council in the coming years.”

The company is preparing an environmental impact assessment and a planning application is expected to be submitted to the council in mid November.

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