12 July 2011

A strategy that will shape how residual or ‘black bag’ waste is disposed of in the county will be discussed by Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet next week.

If cabinet gives approval a procurement process will begin which will invite tenders for seven or 12-year contracts to dispose of the non-recyclable waste.

The cost of sending non-recyclable waste to landfill is becoming increasingly expensive and is set to rise to more than £100 per tonne by 2015/16.

The new strategy replaces Project Reduce – a joint waste procurement project with Milton Keynes Council – which had been due to start when the current landfill contracts come to an end in March 2013.

The project was scrapped after the government announced that the required PFI funding would not be available.

The new strategy would see the county divided into three ‘zones’ which would encourage a variety of technologies and local solutions.

Waste would also be more likely to be treated close to where it came from, which would reduce transportation costs and carbon emissions.

Cllr Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for the environment, said: “In Britain the amount of space we have available for the disposal of non-recyclable waste into landfill is becoming increasingly scarce.

“In addition, the cost of landfill tax is increasing annually so it’s essential we find a solution for both economic and environmental reasons.

“This new strategy is very positive and encourages solutions to be found at a local level. It also invites innovative methods, which are going to be necessary if we are to tackle this very real and mounting problem.

“A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes with our partners in the borough and district councils in the county to get to where we are now.”

The three zones would be:

  • North Northamptonshire (Corby, Kettering, East Northants and Wellingborough)
  • Central Northamptonshire (Northampton and Daventry)
  • South Northamptonshire (which would be partnered with Cherwell in Oxfordshire)

The cabinet report is available here.