Dorset, Bournemouth, and Poole publish new Waste Plan

Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, and the Borough of Poole Council have jointly released a new, draft Waste Plan, that aims to ‘promote the sustainable management of waste’ by establishing the ‘vision, objectives and spatial strategy for the development of waste management facilities up to 2031’.

The draft plan, which is open for public consultation until 23 September, estimates future waste arisings, for both domestic, construction, and hazardous wastes (up to 2031) and includes site options for locating new waste management facilities to deal with this waste.

New MRF and EfW plans

Dorset, Bournemouth, and Poole publish new Waste Plan

The report predicts that waste in the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole areas will grow by an estimated 220,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) over the next 15 years, necessitating new waste management facilities to deal with potential capacity shortfalls.

For example, the current co-mingled ‘Recycle for Dorset’ service sees all collected materials sent to materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in North Wales and Kent, as there is not currently a large enough facility to sort the materials in the region.

Indeed, it is expected that over the plan period there will be a shortfall in processing capacity of between 25,000 and 125,000 tonnes per annum (tpa). However, it is expected that one of the two MRFs planned for the area will come online, which will be able to handle the majority of this material. Despite this, the councils states that ‘a criteria-based policy to enable the development of additional sites for the management of recyclable material would be sufficient’ to manage any further problems.

The council has also identified a shortfall in capacity for handling non-hazardous residual waste after 2019 (largely due to local landfills coming to their end of lives), and is therefore looking for ‘suitable sites’ to host an energy recovery facility(s) within the area.

The plan reads: ‘Given that much of Dorset is rural and the largest quantities of waste will be derived from in and around the conurbation, it would be appropriate to locate facility(s) in South East Dorset. Whilst the Waste Plan will be technology neutral, it is likely that thermal treatment will be appropriate, which could comprise energy from waste, pyrolysis and/or gasification facilities.

At this stage it is not known how many facilities will be needed as it will depend on the scale of facility coming forward. The site assessments, supporting the site options will consider the available land area and the scale of facility that could be accommodated.’

Additionally, a number of existing waste management facilities are planned to be relocated or improved to take advantage of technological innovations or to serve growing local communities, including facilities at Blandford, Dorchester, Wimborne and Shaftesbury.

Plans include:

  • developing transfer stations in the Dorchester area to facilitate the ‘sustainable movement of waste’, including the relocation of the Wareham depot;
  • creating localised green waste composting facilities in the west of Dorset, particular Dorchester or Wareham, to mitigate a potential capacity shortfall of 45,000 tpa;
  • supporting the existing anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Piddlehinton near Dorchester with a new AD facility that has been green-lighted at Parley, to replace an existing in-vessel composting facility at the site;
  • locating a new bulky waste site in the ‘south east of the area’ to handle between 22,000 and 29,000 tpa over the next 15 years;
  • creating localised landfill sites for inert wastes;
  • reaching the ‘interim end state’ of decommissioning of the Winfrith nuclear research and development facility by 2021 (with low-level radioactive waste being processed in Cumbria and intermediate-level waste being sored temporarily in a new store in Oxfordshire, until a permanent disposal facility becomes available); and
  • expanding Gillingham and Maiden Newton sewage treatment works will need to be expanded to mitigate the effects of population growth on the system.

The councils are now calling on members of the public and stakeholders to submit their thoughts on the draft plan by 23 September. All issues raised will be reviewed after this point before the draft is finalised (and subjected to a six-week consultation beginning in March 2016), before being submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for an ‘independent examination’.

‘Providing modern waste management solutions in appropriate areas’

Speaking of the plan, Councillor Colin Jamieson, cabinet member for economy and growth at Dorset County Council, said: “Planning for the future needs of Dorset residents is vital for our economic future…

“Providing modern waste management solutions in appropriate areas will reduce transportation, keeping congestion down on our busy roads. They will also help us maximise recycling and divert waste from landfill sites.”

Read the full Draft Waste Plan

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