News ID: 253312
Published: 1042 GMT May 25, 2019

Work starts on £450m incinerator project in east of England

Work starts on £450m incinerator project in east of England

Work has started on a £450 million incinerator that will turn waste into energy.

The Covanta Rockery South Energy Recovery Facility in Stewartby, Bedfordshire, a county in the East of England, could power 12,500 homes a year by 2022, BBC wrote.

Campaigners against the project say the plant will release tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

But Tom Koltis, from Covanta, said there needed to be a ‘mindset change’ about the ‘backwards’ view of sending waste to landfill.

The facility is due to run 24 hours a day and convert 585,000 tons of waste into 65 MWe of electricity a year.

It will create 60,000 tons of ash and metal waste a year, which will be recycled or used for aggregates.

The rubbish will be brought in on trucks within a 60-mile (97km) radius.

Campaign group Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator (BACI) said it was still fighting to stop the facility, with its case due at the Court of Appeal in July.

It lost a judicial review in November against a permit being issued by the UK Environment Agency, arguing that ‘toxic metals’ would be discharged into people's drinking water.

Nicola Ryan-Raine, from the group, said she was worried about how the tons of waste ash would be taken away from the site.

She added: "For every ton of waste burned — typically more than one ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere."

However, Koltis, the executive director of corporate development, said you either put waste ‘into the ground or you turn it into electricity’.

He said the word ‘incinerator’ had bad connotations, but they were facilities ‘designed to recover energy and reduce waste volumes’.

"The technology is advanced, to the point what is coming out of the stack is less polluting than what is coming out of people's cars and homes," he said.

The facility is scheduled to be up and running by March 2022.

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