Lancashire recycling plants to be mothballed

Councillors decide to cancel operations at two Lancashire waste recycling plants

Lancashire Country Council has decided to stop operations at the two £2bn waste recycling plants at Farington and Thornton in a controversial move.

The decision was made by the executive scrutiny committee at a meeting in the County Hall in Preston on Friday, February 19. The two waste recycling plants, which cost the council £125m each to build, will run quiet after June this year, when over 250 employees will be made redundant.

The committee said that the food and organic waste, which is currently separated and treated at the two plants, will now be sent to landfill. In 2012, a report suggested that 70% of the waste that was sent to the Farington and Thornton recycling plants was relocated to landfill anyway.

Lancashire’s expensive recycling project has been enduringly problematic, with Michael Green, Leyland South West Conservative councillor, describing it as a “failure of catastrophic proportions”.

Due to unmanageable costs, in 2014 the council was forced to break their 25-year contract with the private waste company Global Renewables, which was a groundbreaking deal at the time of the initiating in 2007.

Councillors from the executive scrutiny committee have said that a redundancy programme is now being rolled out and that all, except around 16 employees, will be made redundant. Rather untactfully, Leader of the Council Jennifer Mein, said that the “low-skilled” plant workers are “part of the ongoing process is to upskill those people who will no longer have jobs with the facilities closing.”

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Call for government to reimburse landfill tax after nationwide flooding

A skip hire company has called on the government to reimburse flood effected councils their landfill tax payments in the midst of the major clean-up operations which are being carried out throughout the UK.

More than 16,000 homes were flooded in December as the UK suffered one of the wettest Decembers yet recorded in British history. Northern England and Scotland were the most effected areas, with Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Cumbria, Dumfries, and Kinross bearing the brunt of the nasty weather.

Now that the big clean-up is underway and families and businesses must dispose of ruined furniture, white goods and electrical items, which, under government regulations, are now considered hazardous waste and must be taken to landfill rather than recycled.

Call for government to return landfill tax

Carlisle is one of the most effected areas after December’s downpour

 

Tractors and trailers in Carlisle, Cumbria, have collected more than 1,050 tonnes of waste from households and businesses. This waste has been taken to temporary tipping grounds, including a car park, until the councils have assessed the damage and decided upon the best solution for the disposal of so much hazardous waste.

At the present time, councils in England must pay £82.60 landfill tax per tonne of waste, but, considering the nature of this emergency, there have been numerous calls for the government to “ … consider all reasonable means of supporting local authority areas which have been affected by the floods”