County council terminates contract with waste disposal company Veolia

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 August 2019

Nearly 5,000 staff at Cambridgeshire County Council will reduce and re-use plastics before recycling in a bid to tackle waste. Picture: Alexis Duclos

Nearly 5,000 staff at Cambridgeshire County Council will reduce and re-use plastics before recycling in a bid to tackle waste. Picture: Alexis Duclos

Alexis Duclos

Waste giants Veolia will no longer commit to disposing of Hertfordshire’s rubbish in the long term, following the decision by the Secretary of State to reject plans for an incinerator in Hoddesdon.

The company had expected to build the 'energy recovery facility', in order to deal with 248,000 tonnes of non-recyclable rubbish generated by the county each year by 2024.

But on Thursday last week, Hertfordshire County Council announced that it had agreed with Veolia ES Hertfordshire Ltd to terminate the contract.

Veolia has also confirmed the company will not appeal against the Secretary of State's decision.

The decision to terminate the contract will cost the council £1.37 million, which is to be paid to Veolia towards the costs that they have incurred.

Within months the council will have to find a new contractor to deal with 25,000 tonnes of current waste that is not covered by other contracts.

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But in the longer term, the council will lose £100 million they would have saved over the 30-year contract.

Now the county council is looking at other options to solve the "substantial problem" they have.

It is not yet clear - after two sites have been blocked by the Secretary of State - whether those options will include a search for other sites for an incinerator.

Commenting on the decision, the county council's executive member for community safety and waste management Terry Hone said: "With the proposed sites in Hatfield and Hoddesdon both having been turned down by the Secretary of State this long term contract with Veolia is unable to continue.

"This leaves us with a substantial problem as we're running out of options for dealing with the residual waste Hertfordshire currently produces, and with 100,000 new homes expected in the county in the next 15 years we urgently need more waste treatment capacity.

"In the short term we will have to continue transporting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste to other parts of the country for treatment which is expensive and bad for the environment."

Meanwhile Veolia has also confirmed they will not appeal against the rejection of the 'energy recovery facility' plans.

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