PLANS to more than double Cheshire's recycling rates and slash the amount of rubbish sent to landfill have been given a £40m boost by the Government.
Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw has awarded Cheshire County Council £40m in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits to improve waste management facilities.
The county aims to cut waste sent to landfill by more than 400,000 tonnes (from 74% to 17%) and raise recycling rates from 25% to 54% by 2020.
Its plans include more composting, more household waste recycling centres, and facilities to separate the remaining waste for further recycling and energy.
The council wants to treat residual waste after recycling at one of two Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plants which will separate re-usable materials and contaminants.
Authorities will be fined £150 for every tonne of waste landfilled above new Government allowances.
The county's bid envisages burning 215,000 tonnes of the remaining waste at an Energy From Waste facility.
That is way below the 600,000 tonnes proposed by Peel Environmental for a site at Ince Marshes, which is not included in the Cheshire Waste Local Plan.
Mr Bradshaw said: 'Cheshire's scheme is ambitious with targets well above requirement, and I am pleased to see such a commitment to helping us reduce our out-dated reliance on landfill.'
Vale Royal Borough Council was the only one of six district councils which did not support the county's PFI bid.
The authority's environment chief, Cllr Malcolm Gaskill (Lib Dem, Winsford Swanlow), argued that heating waste could produce harmful dioxins while discouraging recycling.
And Cheshire's environment member, Cllr Andrew Needham, admitted policy was being dictated by the EU.
'Burning waste is not something we want to do.
'But we have got to do it in the interests of Council Tax payers because the county could be looking at £10m a year in fines if it does not mean landfill targets.' email@example.com