Importing more waste into Sheffield is a burning issue

View from Sheffield Cathedral,looking towards Bernard Road incinerator
View from Sheffield Cathedral,looking towards Bernard Road incinerator

Council permission could be granted next week for Sheffield’s Bernard Road incinerator to take more waste from outside the Sheffield area.

Operators Veolia say volumes of local household rubbish are falling and they now want to take waste other parts of South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to ensure the plant operates efficiently, supplying parts of the city with heat.

But the company needs council approval to vary the terms of the operation - and objections have been lodged on the basis that the ‘Energy Recovery Facility’ should only be for Sheffield’s rubbish and material from other authorities could be recycled.

Concerns have been raised by Sheffield Green Party and Friends of the Earth.

Councillors will decide on Monday whether to allow Veolia to extend its catchment area, and to increase imported volumes from 50,000 to 65,000 tonnes.

Officers recommend the go-ahead as long as conditions are imposed to ensure the extra imports are not at the expense of dealing with the city’s waste.

They say the incinerator has become more reliant on commercial and industrial waste and importing waste from outside Sheffield than originally envisaged.

“Veolia predict that if the planning conditions remain as they are, they will not be able to source sufficient waste to enable the ERF to operate efficiently and to maintain the efficiency of the District Heating Network.”

The officers’ report adds that the incinerator will not burn any more waste than it was intended to, the proposed arrangements will avoid waste being sent for landfill and emissions will be monitored by the Government’s Environment Agency.