What do you think of plans to burn other towns’ rubbish in Sheffield incinerator?

wasteram'Sheffield Incinerator from Spittal Hill, by Neil Theasby
wasteram'Sheffield Incinerator from Spittal Hill, by Neil Theasby
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LORRY loads of rubbish from around South Yorkshire and surrounding areas are set to be brought to Sheffield’s incinerator to make up for a shortfall caused by expansion of recycling in the city.

Sheffield Council contractor Veolia has applied for planning permission to burn up to 50,000 tonnes of waste a year, from Barnsley, Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Rotherham.

It is seeking temporary consent for the next six years, which will be considered at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board on Monday.

The Sheffield Energy Recovery Facility on Bernard Road, opened in 2006, can burn up to 225,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Sheffield Green Party has objected to Veolia’s planning application.

Central ward councillor Jillian Creasy said: “As we’ve said many times before, Sheffield Council got itself into a very difficult situation.

“It should never have given permission for such a big incinerator to be built. Before Veolia imports waste from other authorities, they need to show that all possible sources of local waste, such as commercial and industrial that would not otherwise be recycled, are being fully used.”

She called for a ‘regional strategy’ for waste disposal involving Sheffield and surrounding areas.

A report to councillors recommends approval and says bringing in rubbish from elsewhere will help resolve capacity problems in Barnsley and Rotherham, which are developing a new treatment plant that will not be ready for several years.

Council officers said: “No more than 50,000 tonnes shall be collected outside the Sheffield Waste Disposal Authority area.

“There is a temporary need for additional municipal waste capacity whilst adjoining authorities deliver sufficient waste processing capacity for their areas.”

The incinerator was restricted to importing waste equivalent to 10 per cent of its capacity. This change would double that proportion.

Veolia has scaled down initial proposals to bring waste from Doncaster, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.

Some 22 residents from across the city sent letters of objection to Sheffield Council.

Beatrice Greenfield, of Fox Hill Road, Birley Carr, said: “I was among many who opposed the building of a larger incinerator. We all said at the time that with additional recycling being imposed by European legislation there would not be enough waste for the larger incinerator to burn in the Sheffield area.”

Julie Graham, of Herdings View, Gleadless, said: “I remember the smog of the 1960s and think this extension would provide the first step onto a slipperly slope of returning to those dark days, when we couldn’t even see the seven hills Sheffield was built upon.”

Tim Hill, of Tom Lane, Fulwood, added: “It is clear the applicant is seeking a short-term solution when a radical one is required.”