Summary of Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham Joint Waste Plan

The Joint Waste Plan contains the following.

Waste management - the way in which waste is collected, treated and disposed of - is one of our most pressing issues. In recent years, we have collectively produced up to four million tonnes of waste each year - enough to fill Wembley stadium twice over. Much of this waste has been buried in landfill sites. As the waste decomposes (or rots), it releases harmful greenhouse gases and chemicals (e.g. methane and carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere which contribute to climate change. As landfill is becoming increasingly expensive and scarce, we urgently need to develop new technologies and alternative solutions to manage waste in a way that reduces emissions, conserves or produces new resources and protects or enhances the quality of the environment. Waste production has increased in some years - in part due to population and household growth, changing lifestyles and rising levels of consumption - but is currently showing some decline due to waste minimisation initiatives, but also the economic recession.

However, we still face a shortage of suitable recycling and treatment facilities to divert waste from landfill. This means that waste is often transferred over longer distances beyond our boundaries.

In order to address these future challenges, the three councils of Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham have prepared a detailed plan to guide and manage future waste provision across the boroughs over the next 15 years, known as the Joint Waste Plan. This includes waste from industrial and business sources, construction and demolition activities, agricultural processes, as well as waste from households.

The key aspects of the overall strategy for the Joint Waste Plan are as follows.

Most waste will be managed within our boundaries at the nearest appropriate location in the following order of priority: prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal. However, waste could be imported or exported where it represents the most sustainable option (e.g. minimises transport miles, reduces waste movements or requires specialist treatment).

A well planned and integrated network of waste facilities will be developed across the three boroughs to manage over one million tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste per annum. To achieve this, we will:

All new development (including waste facilities) will be expected to manage the waste it produces in a way that minimises resources and encourages on site recycling, recovery and storage.

The Joint Waste Plan is not specific about the mix and type of technologies that waste facilities could operate as these may change over time but identifies the processes that could manage waste as a means to encourage innovation.

In parallel with this process, we are working closely with the private sector to develop recycling and treatment facilities to manage the waste from your bins in line with the recycling, composting, recovery and landfill diversion targets from our separate municipal waste management strategies.