24 Nov 2010
The waste of PFI
The County Council recognises that we need alternatives to landfill. It put this problem out to tender and received proposals that take advantage of private finance initiative (PFI) money to build a massive incinerator.
It's perfectly understandable that the would-be contractors would suggest this route, as it is hugely profitable. PFI payments are guaranteed by the government, which currently owes private companies £260 billion for public projects that cost only £60 billion to build.
That doesn't mean it's a good idea to build an incinerator. Far from it. If the Council instead adopted a zero-waste strategy and built a mechanical/digestion facility, we'd be diverting the same amount of waste from landfill for around a fifth of the cost of the incinerator. This method would also be quicker to build, and flexible to future recycling rates.
Other Councils around the country are realising the folly of locking themselves into long, expensive contracts to burn our waste, and dropping their plans to do so. It's time for Herts to do the same.
Sign the petition against an incinerator for Herts here. It only takes 10 seconds.