To seek more sustainable methods of dealing with surplus materials ("waste") in Hertfordshire.
We are working to persuade the local authorities in the county to introduce more sustainable ways of reducing, reusing and recycling surplus materials locally, at each main town in the county. This would take us towards a 'circular economy' in which we would no longer dispose of huge quantities of waste through incineration and landfilling. The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership is achieving a great deal already towards that goal but this needs a more 'joined up' approach of long-term investment by the councils.
We are an information 'hub' founded in March 2009 among networks of community groups and individuals.
We gather and share useful information with all interested parties, including the County Council, the district & borough councils, neighbouring authorities, the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), local campaigning groups, campaigns elsewhere, environmental groups, companies, political parties, industry specialists and so on. The environmental groups include Transition Towns & Villages etc. and the local Friends of the Earth groups.
We rely on waste industry experts and experiences of projects elsewhere to indicate the best ways of avoiding and dealing with waste as far as possible without destruction via landfilling and incineration, whether with or without energy recovery.
Our eventual aim is to avoid the generation of waste in the first place. Meanwhile there is plenty of scope for more of our "residual" waste to be diverted into use, re-use, recycling etc. This would be in the direction of a 'circular economy' in which the County Council would have very little 'waste' materials of any kind to dispose of. As a next interim step, we urge that no new incinerator capacity be planned for Hertfordshire - especially not via an inflexible, long term (30 year) contract! - and that the Herts. Waste Partnership's activities be translated into a strategy for local processing facilities for composting, mechanical biological treatment, anaerobic digestion etc. close to each conurbation.
Around 85% of the waste in your bin can be recycled. Yet in Hertfordshire we only recycle around 50%. We need to increase recycling facilities, to make it easier for households to recycle more. Above all - in terms of the Waste Hierarchy - we need to reduce consumption, redesign products and promote initiatives with new technology. .We also need to employ forward-looking technologies such as anaerobic digestion that cost less to set up and operate and thus to re-use resources, create local jobs and reduce climate change impacts. This would allow us to reduce and eventually eliminate any waste that cannot be re-used or recycled.
For the latest information please see our Blog page.
Veolia Environmental Services (VES) submitted a planning application to Hertfordshire County Council for an incinerator (a so-called 'energy recovery facility', ERF) at Ratty's lane, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne. The proposed facility would be of a lesser capacity than that which was proposed for New Barnfield, until that was rejected by Government. It would also lack a front-end facility to divert some materials from the waste.
The Council gave approval in principle for this proposal, however Sajid Javid MP the then Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) had put a block on their granting planning parmision. Shortly after that he called in the application for his own determination via a Planning Inquiry by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).The Inquiry's hearings have been conducted and adjourned by the Inspector Mrs Jennifer Vyse DIPTP MRTPI. In the coming months she will prepare her report for the Secretary of State, who will eventually decide whether to or not to grant planning permission.