Luton Council’s Labour Executive has decided (Monday evening 6th December) to pull out of a partnership deal to build a multi-million pound waste incinerator with neighbouring Central Bedfordshire.
The deal has been ended because the costs have escalated and the project is no longer seen as affordable but Liberal Democrat Councillors say it should have been dumped ages ago on environmental grounds even if the cost was still reasonable.
“The Council’s own Waste Strategy document published in 2006 says the ‘Best Practicable Environmental Option’ should be sought for waste disposal,” says Liberal Democrat Luton South Parliamentary Candidate Qurban Hussain. “Incineration is quite simply the wrong option environmentally. The climate change impact of a mass burn incinerator is far greater than many other technologies including Mechanical and Biological Treatment.”
“Studies differ on how much more environmentally damaging an Energy From Waste Incinerator plant is but no-one, including Defra, disputes that the technology is distinctly inferior on these grounds to other technologies.”
Some of the documents produced for Luton Council’s Executive were discussed in secret but Councillor Qurban Hussain says none of them actually spelled out the real financial cost of the scheme. Figures produced by Bedford Borough Council, when they pulled out of the deal in September, say the total cost had risen from the original estimate of £826m to £1.171bn.