Campaigners are staging one last battle in the fight against plans for a 300,000 tonne incinerator in Aylesbury Vale.
Bucks County Council gave the go ahead to build an energy from waste plant in Calvert back in April, but on Monday it will vote on which company should run it.
Ahead of the meeting a letter has been sent to all county councillors urging them to reconsider the plans – which feature a 90 metre chimney and will be located nine miles from a similar sized incinerator near Bicester.
In the letter, campaigner Christopher Prideaux, of Lower South Farm near Quainton, is calling on the council to consider using an alternative technology - which the company that is set to be awarded the contract is proposing for a site in Milton Keynes.
Mr Prideaux argues that rather than simply burning the waste (using as a mass burn incinerator) the authority could use an advanced thermal treatment – where the gas that the rubbish produces is burnt in a much smaller building.
He said: “This is at least 15% more efficient at electricity generation and much cheaper to build. Smaller plants could be sited in existing industrial estates.”
Under the already-approved plans, the incinerator will create 300 construction jobs and 40 ongoing positions.
It will burn 109,000 tonnes of Bucks’ waste each year and ship in the rest from third parties.
Access to the plant will be from a new road off the A41.
There will also be an on-site visitors centre for school children to learn about the work it does.
Buckinghamshire currently has a 45% recycling rate and forks out £11.6 million a year to dump waste in landfill – which is set to rise to £16.5 million by 2020.
The incinerator will cost taxpayers £275 million. But over the course of the 30 year contract, being awarded on Monday, taxpayers will be £150 million better off – compared to if the waste had been dumped in landfill.
Despite this, Mr Prideaux said: “A mass burn incinerator, which needs 300,000 tonnes per annum to be efficient, would struggle to get the tonnage because Bucks County Council only has control over about 100,000 tonnes per annum.”
He worries that WRG (the council’s preferred bidder which has now become FCC Environment UK) could have trouble shipping in the remaining waste because of competition from nearby facilities in Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Berkshire.
Mr Prideaux has also criticised the incinerator’s 90ft chimney, saying: “The proposal is still subject to national design criticism with a chimney visible throughout north Bucks, amongst sites of Special Scientific Interest.”
Bucks County Council’s Cabinet is recommended to award the contract to FCC Environment UK when it meets on Monday.