Fresh row over food waste plan

Sir Beville Stanier
Sir Beville Stanier

DISTRICT bosses have been challenged to guarantee that food and garden rubbish will not be flung into landfill when a new collection system is brought in next year.

Opposition politicians have called for assurances after bosses at Aylesbury Vale District Council dropped plans to build a bio-waste plant in the Vale.

Leaders agreed the plant – which had been mooted earlier this year – would not be cost effective, and put the project on hold.

Three district councillors have called for the matter to be looked at again, and a crunch meeting next Wednesday will decide whether to send it back for a rethink.

Opposition councillor Steve Patrick, who headed the challenge, which will be heard by AVDC’s environment scrutiny committee, said: “We’re a little bit apprehensive about the way we’re moving forward.

“What we’re trying to do is put the pressure on to make sure that it’s all sound and if things aren’t in place next summer, there’s going to be a political row.”

And he added: “We want them to assure us that things will be in place.

“It doesn’t matter who owns the facility.”

Sir Beville Stanier, Conservative, portfolio for environmental services, said: “I think putting up our own plant is a lovely idea, but at a time like this it’s not possible.

“Because we are the collection authority and the county council is the disposal authority, food waste will go to them.

“We’re hopeful they’ll send it to an anaerobic digestion plant and not to landfill.”

From next summer, householders are set to be issued a kitchen caddy, which will be emptied every week, and recycling and waste bins will be emptied on alternate weeks.

Councillor Steven Adams, Conservative, cabinet member for the environment at County Hall, said: “We will provide AVDC with a short term, interim arrangement which will then be followed by a long term solution.

“These arrangements will ensure that food and garden waste will be composted and not be sent to landfill. We will be able to confirm these details in 2012.”