By Chris Sloley
Waste management firm Veolia Environmental Services is seeking to source 50,000 tonnes of residual waste for its Sheffield energy-from-waste incinerator from neighbouring councils following concerns over future under-capacity.The company submitted a planning application earlier this month to the city council to allow a temporary variation from its existing arrangement for the 225,000 tonnes-a-year capacity energy recovery facility (ERF) which would enable it to take waste from neighbouring local authorities.
Veolia, which opened the Sheffield plant in 2007, claimed that the application comes in the wake of a decline in the amount of material collected at the kerbside under its long-term waste management contract with Sheffield city council signed in 2001.
The company said increased levels of recycling and “economic factors” had led to a decline in residual waste arisings.
The waste management firm said waste trend forecasts indicate that the plant would experience a capacity shortfall over the next six years, which it is attempting to supplement with waste from the neighbouring authorities.
A statement released by Veolia said: “The planning application allows the ERF to prevent this shortfall by increasing the amount of waste received from neighbouring areas. In addition to preventing the shortfall, the receipt of this waste is likely to reduce the amount of waste disposed of in landfill sites.”
Under the planning application, which is currently being scrutinised by the local authority, Veolia would seek to secure additional tonnage from Rotherham, North East Derbyshire, Doncaster, Barnsley, Chesterfield, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.
Nigel Williams, director for Veolia Environmental Services in Sheffield, said: “The planning application will not lead to any physical changes at the energy recovery facility, nor will it increase the existing capacity of the facility.
“Following discussions with Sheffield city council planning department, the application has been the subject of an Environmental Impact Assessment which has considered a range of issues associated with the proposed change.”
Mr Williams also said that the company had sought to be “very transparent” with regards to the application and the measures were being undertaken to ensure that heat and electricity generated at the Sheffield facility was “optimised”.
A spokeswoman for Veolia said that the company expected consideration of the planning application to take between 12 and 16 weeks, with Veolia anticipating a response to the request in spring 2011.