Herts. WithOut Waste (HertsWOW)

Recycling and composting not disposal

Writing to your Councillor

On Wednesday 20th December from 10:00am at County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8DQ, Herts. County Council's Development Control Committee will consider an application by Veolia Environmental Services to construct and operate a mass burn incinerator at Ratty's Lane in Hoddesdon.

Please say what you think of Veolia's proposal for a new plant to incinerate our waste, the sooner the better! In time for this meeting we are asking you to write or send an email to your county councillor. You can look them up and find their contact details here. Your message should be polite, clear and to the point; do not let it ramble on! HertsWOW prefers to stay positive and say what we want to happen but we also have to say what would get in the way of doing so.

A personal letter is always best if you have the time. For instance you can say why a good outcome matters to you and your family and friends. If you need to make this quick, just pick your main concern, or that of your family/neighbours/friends/group and tweak it a bit to say it in your own way.

Also "... there is a right for any member of the public being resident in, or a registered local government elector of Hertfordshire to present a petition relating to a matter with which the Committee are concerned, containing 100 or more signatures of residents or Hertfordshire business rate payers. A maximum of 2 petitions shall be presented unless otherwise allowed by the Chairman of the Committee. To enable the process to be open to as many individuals as possible, presenters of petitions will not normally be eligible to make an individual presentation as well."

You can obtain a form for presention and/or petitioning from Rob Egan,* email: Rob.Egan@hertfordshire.gov.uk.
*Principal Planning Officer, Spatial Planning & Economy, Environment & Commercial Services
The form includes guidance on what to do and by when to do it.



Model letter or email 

To: Councillor [THEIR NAME], Herts. County Council


Subject: Veolia's Revised Plan for a Waste Incinerator 

Dear Councillor,

[say why you object - see suggestions below]

Please urge your fellow councillors to reject this proposal and to cancel the contract with Veolia now. 

Yours sincerely,


[on behalf of a group?]  


Examples of what to say 

  • Cut down on waste: The Council already works to help us to reduce waste by avoiding it in the first place, by re-using things, by reducing how much we throw out, by recycling and by composting. Please invest more in those, especially in collecting food waste separately and in local sorting for recycling etc. rather than in incineration.
  • No new incinerator: The plant would be designed to burn residual, municipal waste. Currently, most of that consists of materials grown with, or made from, fossil 'fuels' (oil, gas and/or coal).
  • Altrnative scenarios: All of the 'scenarios' used in the Officers' Report for comparison with the proposal in the RPP are also based on incineration, within and/or outside of Hertfordshire. We contend that the same evaluation should be applied to sustainable solutions at the top of the Waste Hierarchy (using Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Composting; including separate collection of all food waste and sorting of otherwise residual waste via MBT to extract recyclates, on industrial estates and at farms near to each main town).  
  • Local jobs: Encourage businesses to have more 'green' jobs all over Hertfordshire. We need to move to a 'circular economy' in which very little goes to waste.
  • Protect the Lea Valley: The site at Rye House, Hoddesdon in the Broxbourne district is in the Lea Valley with its canal, wildlife reserves and areas for recreation. An incinerator plant would pollute all that, especially downwind to the north-east. 
  • Calling-in and refusal: The risks of the proposed project are so high that it cannot, in our view, be expected to gain planning permission; it's New Barnfield all over again in terms of losing elapsed time (5+ years), scarce public money (around £12 million) plus a huge amount of staff & opponents' time.
  • Use shorter contracts: The Council should not be committing to a 30 year contract, starting operation in 2020 at the earliest. That would enable Veolia to run the plant to capacity until 2050 and perhaps a further 10 years to 2060. It is already an out-of-date plan and should be scrapped now in favour of short, flexible contracts for local processing.
  •  Traffic: Broxbourne is at the south-east edge of the County, so a lot of transportation would be needed to carry Hertfordshire's waste to there and to take away the furnace bottom ash. 
  • Local facilities: Smaller, local facilities are needed in industrial estates and at farms close to each of the main towns, plus use of the nearest similar facilities in adjacent counties. That would require far shorter journeys and save on transfer stations too.

Sign our petition! (only if you live or work in Hertfordshire) = CLOSED =


We are urgently gathering signatures here on the change.org web site to enable us to address the County Council's Cabinet Panel on 4th March 2016. The meeting will recommend whether the Council should commit to incineration of our residual, municipal waste for 30 years from 2020 (or later): 

Call on Herts. County Council for more recycling and composting instead of incineration

Help us research and/or host a talk

We are focussing on what we are striving for: to boost the levels of diversion from waste across the County. Would you be able and willing to help us hold a public discussion of how to do so in your area?

In support of the Herts. Waste Partnership's WasteAware campaign, we wish to explore the best  in each of the Districts and Boroughs and to propose ambitious plans for the county to be an exemplar of best practice in using valuable materials in the 'Circular Economy'.

Obtaining information from public sources

Here are web pages in which the Council or another source explains how to obtain access to information (data sets and documents) in its possession: