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What Could Cornwall Spend £320,000,000 on?

What Could Cornwall Spend £320,000,000 on?

That is how much would be saved if an alternative were chosen to an Incinerator. On Tuesday 20th November around a hundred members of the public and press crowded into the Truro City Council Chamber to hear the jaw-dropping revelations of the Eunomia Report.

This was a review commissioned by Cornwall Waste Forum that looked at the costs of alternative methods of Waste Treatment. Eunomia are the foremost waste consultancy in Europe and the UK. They work for Local Authorities, Government Departments and The European Commission, and are known for their independence. The findings of the review were stark.

The Incinerator Contract is outdated and not fit for purpose because it no longer reflects the policy, legislative and technology context of waste management.

As there is no provision for Food Waste Collection it does not conform to the Waste Hierarchy.

It is poor value for money because it has total cost of £647 million over the lifetime of the contract, and with an alternative, nearly half of this could be saved.

The review looked at four options:

Incinerate: Carry on with the Sita and the Incinerator, with 20% ash going to landfill.
Recycle/AD: Use the CWF Plan B High Recycling and Anaerobic Digester Model which would require the Sita Contract to be terminated.
Combination: Combine 1 & 2 by recycling and digesting food waste, but feed the residuals into a small scale Thermal Treatment plant.
Diversion: This is where Sita carry on Incinerating residual waste, but Cornwall Council divert the recycling and sell it on the open market.

As with all complex computer models there are lots of factors which have to be considered, but the bottom line is that Option 2 would save £20,000,000 per year for the Council, as well as giving Cornwall the reputation for being a clean green place. Over the long term (20 years) Option 3 might turn out to be marginally cheaper, but only if the contract was scrapped and the solution delivered by others.

The reason for the astounding differences are that firstly the vast infrastructure of an incinerator is enormously expensive, costing more than twice that of other options, but the fact that contributes £10 million a year to the costs is that Sita is charging twice for the recycling. Cory collect the recycling and Sita charges the Council a “gate fee” to dispose of it. They then take the recycling to the open market and sell it, thus getting paid twice.

If you wish to view the Report in full, click here:
or to read the summary, click here:

If you think it is imperative that the Council considers these cheaper options then we urge you to contact your Cornwall Council Member before it is too late.

If you do not know how to contact your Councilor or you do not know who they are, please click here to view a list of current Cornwall Councillors on the Cornwall Council website:

It would be a great help to Cornwall if you did this.