03:13PM, Friday 27 July 2018
Alternative methods for waste disposal are being considered by the Royal Borough after statistics revealed more than half of its waste is destroyed in incinerators.
About 36,926 tonnes of rubbish from the Royal Borough was sent to specialist ‘energy-from-waste’ power plants, where they are used as fuel to generate heat and electricity, during 2016-17.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, this counted for 51 per cent of the Royal Borough’s rubbish.
Meanwhile, in Slough, 73 per cent of its waste was burned – about 44,229 tonnes.
The energy-from-waste concept has been hailed as less harmful than using landfill sites, but a report released in the House of Lords last week shows that harmful particles released from the incinerators in England last year were equivalent to emissions of more than 250,000 40-tonne lorries travelling 75,000 miles a year.
Cllr Jesse Grey (Con, Datchet), the Royal Borough’s cabinet member of environmental services, said the concerns would be taken into account when the council's waste disposal contract is renewed next year.
“We are looking at the best options,” he said.
“We are aware that people are concerned about the incineration percentage so, with the new contract, we are going to be looking at how we can come up with the best kind of solution, or try and reduce that.
“(The scheme) is good and bad. It is very difficult, because you get something and everybody is doing it and you follow suit and suddenly the goalposts change so you try and rectify it.
“I do not have any strong views one way or the other.”
In all, nearly half (48 per cent) of waste in the Royal Borough was recycled, the statistics show.
In Slough a quarter (25 per cent) of waste in the borough was recycled and two per cent went to landfill.
Cllr Rob Anderson (Lab, Britwell and Northborough), Slough’s cabinet member for environment and leisure, has been contacted for a comment.
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