Landfill tax bill set to soar after waste plant fails

April 13, 2021 1:48 PM

Sackfuls of litter in large binsHundreds of thousands of tonnes of Essex residents' waste is being buried in landfill after the the collapse of Conservative-run Essex County Council's agreement with its waste contractor.

The Conservatives' pet scheme saw millions of pounds spent on a waste processing plant in Basildon designed to recycle black bin waste into fuel, but it never worked.

After repeated delays and problems a protracted court case found the waste operators had not built the plant to the right specification. As a result of the huge costs, the company collapsed.

All black bin waste in Essex now goes direct to landfill, costing local taxpayers £20 million in landfill tax each year.

Cabinet Member for a Greener Chelmsford, Cllr Rose Moore, said "The Conservatives gambled with taxpayers' money on what they thought was a clever way round paying for landfill, but they got it badly wrong and had no fallback in place other than yet more landfill. Now the Conservatives' mistakes are costing Essex residents £20 million in Landfill Tax each year, increasing methane and carbon dioxide emissions and harming the environment.

"Only the Liberal Democrats will work to ensure ECC acts responsibly, urgently reduces waste to landfill and strives for a longer-term strategy that's fit for purpose."