Agenda item

Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


The Chief Executive reported that the following questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5):


Questions asked by Mr Max Hunt CC:


Newhurst Energy from Waste (EfW) Incinerator Contract:


  1. What is the cost of the contract with Biffa?


  1. Has the risk of a future tax on incineration been addressed?


  1. Are there any constraints, either way, on the Local Authority regarding volume or residual waste provided?


  1. Are there any constraints on the Local Authority regarding materials (e.g., plastics)?


  1. Will the LA be sharing capacity of the Newhurst EfW Incinerator with other Local Authorities or any commercial providers?


  1. What figures has the Local Authority obtained with regard to the emission of Greenhouse Gases and Particulates from their use of the plant?”


The Chairman replied as follows:


“1.  The contract gate fee is commercially sensitive information which cannot be disclosed.


  1. Any Government decision on a future incineration tax remains outstanding. In terms of risk management, this issue would be subject to further engagement between the parties and dealt with in accordance with the terms of the contract.


  1. The County Council has committed to delivering a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of residual (black bag) waste per year. As a Waste Disposal Authority during 2021/22 the County Council managed over 300,000 tonnes of household waste and recycled approximately 43% of this.


  1. The County Council is able to deliver anything that would normally be present in residual black bag waste i.e., items of a size that would fit in a household wheeled bin and that are not hazardous in nature. Items such as gas canisters, tree stumps, mattresses etc would not be intentionally delivered to the Newhurst facility.


  1. The majority of the capacity available at Newhurst EfW will be used by Biffa’s own commercial waste inputs and other Biffa commercial contracts.



The County Council is only required to deliver 40,000 tonnes of waste to the Newhurst facility per year. A number of neighbouring Waste Disposal Authorities were listed on the contract notice and therefore could access the County Council’s contract in the future by agreement.


  1. When the facility is operational, the County Council will be delivering a proportion of the total waste into the Newhurst EfW facility. A condition of the procurement process was that the solution would achieve/have obtained the ‘R1’ energy efficiency rating.


Biffa Waste Services will be subject to emissions monitoring and be required to report emissions levels to the Environment Agency in order to evidence that they are operating in accordance with their environmental permit.”


Mr Hunt asked the following supplementary questions:


“1.    I did not ask about Gate fees in particular but the County Council had to be sure it was getting good value, so what is the headline figure achieved in negotiation on which we can claim any savings on present management?


2.     The Authority has quoted its Carbon efficiency and my request was the emission of Greenhouse Gases and Particulates, so can these relevant figures be provided?  Or was the statement made just a guess?”


At the invitation of the Chairman, the Director of Environment and Transport replied as follows:


“1.    The contract will contribute to a Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) saving of £985,000 per year.


2.     I will provide you with an answer outside of the meeting.”


[The following response was subsequently provided:


The County Council did not require Biffa to submit carbon emission figures as part of the procurement process, so a specific carbon saving has not been calculated.  However, officers are confident that a carbon saving will be realised.  The location of the new facility means that the total haulage miles will be reduced leading to a carbon saving.  In addition, the Newhurst plant will be one of the most technologically advanced Energy from Waste facilities in the UK.  The reported electrical efficiency of the plant means that carbon emissions per tonne of residual waste should be notably better than landfill.”] 

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