Gwent councils push on with incinerator plans
FIVE Welsh councils with three in Gwent have pushed ahead with plans for a firm based in Cardiff should burn their non-recyclable waste for 25 years.
Monmouthshire, Newport and Caerphilly together with Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils have agreed that Viridor should be appointed as the preferred bidder for the Prosiect Gwyrdd contract.
The scheme will cost the five authorities £440 million and it is hoped it will save £500 million by not burying waste at landfill.
A final business case for the plan has been submitted to the Welsh Government which will subsidize 25 per cent of cost of every tonne sent to the new facility.
The project is to now work with Viridor to finalise the contract before the company and the councils sign on the dotted line.
The scheme has proven controversial amid fears of the health impacts of incineration, and due to the fact that the authorities will be tied into a 25-year-long contract with the authorities.
Cllr Russell Goodway of the Prosiect Gwyrdd joint committee said: “It is a very complex project, which will ensure that all five local authorities have a very good value, reliable and environmentally sustainable means to treat non recyclable waste for the next 25 years."
The Labour leadership in Newport has been vocally against the use of incineration technology - but a council meeting earlier this month heard fears that the legal risks were too great to back out.
Viridor beat an opposing bid from French multi-national Veolia, which wanted to build an incinerator at Newport's Llanwern Steelworks site.
The Llanwern scheme had failed to get planning permission, and an appeal by the company is currently on hold while the firm decides whether it takes it further or withdraws.
Two public events are set to take place in Gwent to explain the scheme to residents.
They will take place on March 23 in Newport Centre from 10am to 3pm, and at Ebenezer Chapel, Magor Square, Magor on March 27 from 10am to 3pm.
The Viridor site could be up and running by April 2016.