At last: an end to dumping waste in open-air tips

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A PROJECT that began in 2004 to find an environmentally friendly way to get rid of Calderdale’s refuse is about to be resolved.

Experts will make their final recommendation on November 10 about spending up to £62 million on a new processing plant in Bradford, which will avoid the need to dump any more rubbish in open-air tips. The 25-year contract proposal will be put to special council meetings in Calderdale and Bradford in December.

Two firms, out of 16 who initially expressed an interest, have developed detailed schemes which will go before the project board.

Both promise to generate enough energy to power 20,000 homes.

Shanks and Scottish and Southern Energy plan to use existing technology to sort the refuse, burn some to generate electricity to power the site, compost the organic waste and sell the rest to run an incinerator and electricity generator off site.

Skanska, EarthTech and Waste Recycling Group wants to build a sophisticated material reclamation plant, burn waste to generate electricity for the National Grid and sell the ash to the aggregates industry.

Both schemes have advantages and risks attached.

But they could handle nearly 50,000 tons of refuse from Calderdale and 140,000 tons from Bradford every year, according to Calderdale’s economy and environment director Ian Gray.

“The failure to deliver a long-term solution would result in continued reliance on landfill which has negative environmental consequences and a much higher carbon footprint,” said Mr Gray in a report to the economy and environment panel.