‘Waste windfall’ from Leeds incinerator

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Leeds could be in line for a £2m ‘waste windfall’ from the Government - and could accumulate £6m in savings of its own - after the Cross Green incinerator starts receiving the city’s waste later this year.

The official opening of the often-controversial facility is not until next summer, however the council could reap some early dividends from November this year.

This year’s budget proposals for 2015-16 - which were due to be rubber-stamped by senior councillors today - include a plan to make £1.4m of savings in the overall strategy to ‘deal effectively with the city’s waste’.

But a report to the executive board also says: “The long term development of a waste strategy for the city will also begin to deliver substantial benefits with £1.9m being received next year in PFI payments”.

An additional council report says: “In November 2015 the Recovery and Energy from Waste facility (RERF) is expected to start to receive waste for commissioning. In accordance with the signed agreement, PFI grant is receivable from the Government once the facility is ready to accept waste. It is anticipated that we will receive £1.9m in 2015/16, with savings exceeding £6m from 2016/17.”

The council’s savings plans for next year - as revealed in the YEP - include the introduction of permits at the city’s household waste recycling centres. The idea is to ban residents of other cities from using Leeds’s sites, as this would lead to a reduction in disposal costs for the council.

The development of the Cross Green incinerator has been contentious over the last few years.

Up to 150,000 tonnes of Leeds’s annual black bin waste will be sent there - half the city’s total bin output. But campaigners say there are better ways of burning the city’s waste.