Incinerator set for Suffolk

ENOUGH electricity to power every home in Ipswich could be generated by burning Suffolk's waste within seven years, it was revealed today.Suffolk County Council is to go ahead with proposals to build an incinerator and power station to deal with residual waste which can not be reused, recycled, or composted.

ENOUGH electricity to power every home in Ipswich could be generated by burning Suffolk's waste within seven years, it was revealed today.

Suffolk County Council is to go ahead with proposals to build an incinerator and power station to deal with residual waste which can not be reused, recycled, or composted.

A site for the new plant is expected to be chosen early next year - and council chiefs are hoping work on building it will start in 2010. It should be fully operational by the end of 2014.

The council has been looking at options to deal with its residual waste in a series of meetings and studies over the last year.

Environment spokesman Eddy Alcock said today that burning the waste to create electricity was the cheapest and most environmentally-friendly option.

He said: “By building such a plant not only are we burning the waste, we are also creating electricity without burning carbon-based fuel and that has to be good for the environment.”

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The modern incinerator would have filters to ensure no toxic particles could escape into the atmosphere and to separate the harmless and potentially harmful ash.

Only a tiny amount of toxic waste would be created, according to a report which will be discussed by the county's cabinet next month.

Assistant director for the environment at the county council, Bryn Griffiths, said a long-list of 70 potential sites for the power plant had been identified.

He said: “We cannot say where we are looking at in detail at the moment, but there are only a limited number of those sites which would be suitable.”

The plant would need good road communications - and ideally a rail link as well - and would be large enough to cope with all the residual waste from Suffolk.

And Mr Alcock said Suffolk was only able to consider building such a plant because so much of its waste was already being recycled.

He said: “The county is doing very well in recycling, but it must continue to improve and this is why we are looking at burning the residual waste. We would not consider this kind of plant if we were not already recycling or composting so much material.”

Continuing to use landfill sites was not an option for the county - there was only enough space in pits for another six years and there are no other suitable sites for landfill in Suffolk.

Mr Alcock said: “Even if we had lots of space in our landfill sites, it would be very expensive because the government is increasing its landfill tax dramatically.”

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