Council agrees to send landfill away to meet target

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Ballymoney Borough Council has agreed to divert 500 tonnes of waste from landfill to reprocessing so that they do not exceed its NILAS target for 2014/15.

During a recent Full Council meeting, members heard that if Council doesn’t comply with its NILAS obligations, they can be fined £150 per tonne extra.

The Environmental Service Committee report explained: ‘NIEA has issued the draft reconciliation report for the ninth scheme year of NILAS (Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme), 2013/14.

‘Through WasteDataFlow Ballymoney Borough Council has submitted quarterly returns for the scheme year 2013/14. From these returns NIEA has calculated the amount of Biodegradable Local Authority Collected Municipal Waste (BLACMW) sent to landfill by each District Council for the scheme year 2013/14.

‘The total amount of BLACMW sent to landfill by Ballymoney Borough Council, for the scheme year 2013/14, was 4,984 tonnes equating to 93.84% utilisation of the 5,311 allocated allowances available for the scheme year.

‘In 2014/15, the BLACMW allowance is 5,094 tonnes. It is a statutory duty that Council complies with its NILAS obligations. In the event that it does not, Council can be fined £150 per tonne for every tonne Council exceeds its NILAS target in any scheme year.

‘Notwithstanding that there is no specific budget for NILAS compliance for 2014/15, it may be necessary that in order to ensure compliance that Council divert waste intended for landfilling to reprocessing.

‘Last year (2013/14) Council determined that 500 tonnes be diverted from landfill under the present extant NWRWMG/Council contract which is due to terminate/be replaced this October.

‘The question for Council to determine is: should any waste sent for disposal by landfill be diverted for reprocessing so that Council thereby does not exceed its NILAS target for 2014/15.

‘It is recommended that Council note its NILAS compliance requirements for 2014/15 and determine what steps it wishes to take to ensure compliance with statutory duty.’

Following councillors questions regarding costs, Director Mr John Michael explained: “The contract is up for renewal during October/November and I can’t say we will get a better price as landfill tax goes up by about £8 year on year.”

In response Alderman Bill Kennedy said: “We did it last year and it was a success so I suggest we do it again this year.”

Alderman Frank Campbell concurred with Ald Kennedy’s comments adding : “What would it cost to convert the waste.”

Mr Michael said that it ‘wouldn’t be a huge amount’ to send the waste to reprocessing adding: ‘it’s about 500 tonnes at 50p per tonne, the reserves can handle it.’