Friday, October 10, 2008


Bedford Borough Council's Implementation Executive has finally agreed to back the Bedfordshire Enery and Recycling Project (BEAR) to build an Energy from Waste Plant to cut the waste going into landfill and generate electricity.

The Consortium was set up by Bedfordshire County Council to deal with strict Government and EU legislation requireing the amount of the UK's waste sent to landfill to be reduced by 65% of 1995 levels by 2020. Bedfordshire's target is to reduce landfilled waste from 131,428 tonnes in 2007/8 to 44,816. Failure to do this will result in huge Landfill Taxes (LATS) which the Council Taxpayer would have to pay. Bedfordshire has successfully increased its recycling levels to 40% but recycling is only part of the solution.

Initially Bedford Borough Council was against the EfW proposal and Liberal Democrats preferred biological recycling but this option alone would not recycle enough waste.
Central Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Council decided to back the BEAR Project and after visiting EfW Plants in London and Portsmouth I was convinced that the EfW is the solution. However I could not persuade the Mayor and other Borough colleagues.

After receiving further expert advice, Bedford Borough Council has now decided to support the project so hopefully we can avoid the dreaded LATS taxes in future.

In terms of recycling Mid and South Bedfordshire recycles much more than Bedford Borough, but with the imminent arrival of our new orange lidded bins Bedford should increase its recycling rate and meet the new Government targets.

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