Both Cabinet meetings were updated on the ongoing testing and commissioning process for the centre which will deal with waste that residents from the city and county cannot or do not recycle.
Testing at the centre – which will heat-treat waste to produce a gas which is then burned to create enough electricity to power 14,000 homes – is being overseen by an independent ‘waste to energy’ technical specialist.
On successful completion of testing, the independent specialist will issue a completion certificate to RRS.
Receiving this certification is subject to the plant performing to specified contractual standards, and is determined through a number of tests to the facility and its equipment.
Both councils remain committed to the project to deal with waste that has previously been sent to landfill sites or treated outside Derby and Derbyshire which is not environmentally or financially sustainable for the future.
Deputy Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Simon Spencer said:
“We recognise that there are concerns about the waste treatment centre, including the amount of time it’s taking to complete, and occasional issues with odour and noise, but I can assure local people that rigorous tests are being carried out and every detail is being thoroughly examined to make sure this much-needed facility is fit for purpose.”
All decisions about the waste treatment centre must be taken jointly by both councils as set out in the contract.
Leader of Derby City Council Councillor Chris Poulter said:
“We’re continuing to monitor the situation closely, and our priority is to seek assurances that the waste treatment centre will pass all of the relevant and rigorous testing required, so that we can give residents clarity over the future of the plant.”
There has been some concern from the public about the papers associated with the waste management contract not being shared.
On this Councillor Poulter commented:
“We know that there has been some concern, and fully understand the need for transparency; that is why ward councillors and all group leaders have been privy to papers, and have been briefed on any updates.
“Public scrutiny is important, however we must be mindful of the distribution of these papers, as ultimately, this remains a highly commercially sensitive project.”
Under the contract, Resource Recovery Solutions (Derbyshire) Ltd (RRS) has built a waste treatment centre on Sinfin Lane, Derby, on behalf of the councils to divert 190,000 tonnes per year of waste from landfill.
RRS currently manages nine household waste recycling centres for the councils, and two waste transfer stations.
The Environment Agency will also be scrutinising the progress of the plant. Anyone with concerns is free to contact them on 03708 506 506.