Waste-burning plant in North Hykeham will burn industrial refuse too
Up to 30,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste will be burned at an incinerator near Lincoln.
Lincolnshire County Council is allowing the material to be processed alongside domestic rubbish at the energy-from- waste plant in North Hykeham.
The plans were approved after it emerged there may not be enough waste generated by homes to fill the 150,000-tonne target for the plant to operate.
The facility, which will be operational by the end of 2013, will produce enough power for 15,000 homes every year.
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Councillors on the planning and regulation committee granted permission for the site to burn industrial waste at a meeting on Monday, March 4.
A report prepared on behalf of Richard Wills, executive director for communities at the council, said: "In the UK as a whole the amount of municipal waste has been rising steadily due to population and housing growth until 2007.
"However, since 2007 there has been a slowdown in municipal waste arising, contrary to the longer-term trend of steady growth, but this should not necessarily be seen as indicative of the future medium and long term position.
"The Government has recently produced a document setting out that the recent slowdown in the levels of municipal waste is largely attributable to the economic downturn. This does show there is a potential for a downturn in the supply of municipal waste, which is outside the applicant's control in terms of forecasting waste levels as opposed to controlling them.
"Therefore it is considered prudent in this context to allow a degree of flexibility in terms of the supply of waste to the Efw."
The report explained that in order for the facility to operate at its optimum level and generate the maximum amount of low-carbon energy, it must process its planned capacity of 150,000 tonnes per year.
Planning permission for the plant, which is currently under construction off Whisby Road, was granted in 2009.
However, a condition of this was "no waste other than municipal solid waste shall be brought to the site for processing unless minor variations are otherwise agreed".
The authority therefore had to submit the fresh application to change the conditions.
The £145 million project, which will mean waste avoids being buried in landfill, is the county council's biggest ever capital expenditure.
It was originally hoped that 90 per cent of the county's annual domestic waste – previously around 166,000 tonnes – would be burnt at the site. The authority says it will cut its landfill costs by £5 million a year.
No material from outside the county will be burned at the plant, which is being run by FCC Environment.
Waste will be taken to five "transfer sites" across the county before being delivered to the facility.