COUNCILLORS have agreed to sign a 25-year contract to dispose of Calderdale’s refuse in a new incinerator that will generate electricity for 20,000 homes.
The £62 million energy-from-waste plant will be built in Bradford and should be operational by 2016.
Calderdale and Bradford councils are committed to using the processing plant as an alternative to depositing household waste in landfill sites, which is not only costly but also harms the environment.
It is believed to be the biggest single contract Calderdale Council has ever entered into.
It involves spending £6.3 million a year on refuse disposal by 2016/17.
Two consortia put in bids to build and run the incinerator in Bowling Back Lane and it was agreed this week that the work should be awarded to the consortium of Skanska, Aecom and the Waste Recycling Group.
The group will carry out consultations before submitting a planning application next summer.
As well as generating electricity for the National Grid, sophisticated machinery will be used to recover recyclable material and the ash will be sold to the aggregates industry.
“This way forward ensures many benefits to both areas while significantly reducing council taxpayers’ exposure to landfill tax rises,” said Calderdale’s economy and environment spokesman, Coun Barry Collins.
Calderdale and Bradford councils have been working on the details of the refuse- disposal scheme since 2008.
Households in Calderdale produce about 78,000 tons of refuse every year.
About 32,000 tons is recycled through doorstep collections and household waste recycling sites and the rest is dumped in tips.
Under the EU Landfill Directive, the amount of waste which is landfilled should be reduced to 35 per cent of that produced in 1995 or there will be huge rises in landfill taxes.
It is expected to take at least eight years before the councils benefit financially from the incinerator, as against paying higher tipping taxes.
Calderdale’s economy and environment director Ian Gray has warned that both councils also face a significant financial risk if the planning application for the incinerator fails to win approval.
But the eight-acre site in Bradford is already used for household waste recycling.