Rubbish plans spark fears of rise in lorries

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UP TO 13,000 tonnes of extra waste could be brought into Sheffield each year to keep the city’s incinerator viable if plans to switch to fortnightly rubbish collections go ahead, opposition councillors claim.

Liberal Democrats on Sheffield Council say they have been given the figure by Gillian Charters, of the council’s waste management service.

The extra tonnage equates to about 1,000 trucks a year on the city’s roads.

The incinerator, which produces heat and power for a range of buildings around the city, has a capacity of 225,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Last year, planning permission was granted for operator Veolia to raise the limit on waste brought in from other areas, from 22,500 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes each year - but the larger amount is now being brought into the city.

A further planning application would have to be made to bring in more refuse.

Coun Ian Auckland, shadow cabinet member for the environment, said: “Labour councillors’ unpopular plan to axe Sheffield’s weekly bin collection service, while reducing recycling services at the same time, is looking increasingly muddled and unnecessary. If Sheffield went ahead with Labour’s plan, our city would become a centre for receiving other people’s waste, which would involve hundreds of extra wagons on the road.”

However, Coun Jillian Creasy, Green Party member for Central ward, said: “In terms of trucks, fortnightly instead of weekly collections mean there will be less trucks on residential streets.

“And, as waste levels fall it makes sense to sell the excess capacity in our incinerator.”

Labour said the maximum 50,000 tonnes per year of waste is already being brought in from surrounding areas and it has no current plans to apply for permission to receive further consignments.