Councils ready to burn waste as landfill tax starts to rise

“A grassroots revolt” is underway against the construction of more than 80 waste incinerators across the country, according to The Independent.

The Coalition government will decide next year whether to back the £10bn roll-out of the facilities. The UK Without Incineration Network has 80 active groups campaigning against the developments, which national politicians believe are vital to burning the UK’s mounting rubbish pile.

The campaign will pit the concerns of people living in the shadows of the proposed chimneys against big business.

The CBI has backed the construction of the new fleet of incinerators, while campaigners believe that they would prove to be a health hazard. Chancellor George Osborne has even opposed a development in his Cheshire constituency.

The Financial Times also focused on these ‘energy-from-waste’ projects, arguing that local authorities have “a clear incentive to reduce the amount of waste they bury”. Landfill taxes will rise from £48 to £80 a tonne over the next eight years, meaning that burning the waste will become more economically viable.

Should all the proposals overcome their planning hurdles, they will mark a landscape-changing shift in waste management. There are only 21 facilities in the UK at the moment, according to Environment Agency figures, with eight more having passed through the planning system.