THOUSANDS of tonnes of waste from across Essex will be buried at a landfill in Stanway instead of being incinerated.

Essex County Council had planned to send the 200,000 tonnes of waste to the Netherlands where it would be burned.

But Dutch plans to introduce a £28-per-tonne tax on the import of foreign waste for incineration have led to a rethink.

The country was also unable to accept refuse-derived fuel while one of its plants underwent refurbishment.

Now fuel and municipal solid waste – amounting to 200,000 tonnes – will be sent to landfill at the Bellhouse site in Stanway.

Any changes on the cost of importing waste to the Netherlands may come into effect from January.

Labour councillor Ivan Henderson quizzed Simon Walsh, County Hall’s waste boss, on why the waste could not be sent to Sweden.

He said: “Has there been an environmental impact assessment done on the terms of this additional waste and pollution that it will cause?

“Of all the information I have looked up there will be an impact on air pollution and climate change from putting this in landfill.”

Mr Walsh told a cabinet meeting the Bellhouse landfill would see an extra 25 lorry movements a day as a result of the decision.

He also said alternative options would continue to be explored.

“If new opportunities arise to dispose of RDF in a more appropriate way, such as providing energy from waste, then that’s exactly what we’ll do,” he said.

He added the situation will be monitored in the Netherlands and the authority will respond accordingly.

He added: “We’ll assess that in so much as we’ll assess anything else that comes on to the market.

“It is a fluid market and clearly we’ll need to do a proper cost analysis and we’ll consider that in the round.

“I have been assured this is in our budget parameters.”

Mr Walsh said in future an environmental impact assessment should be arranged as standard.

He added: “The way the procurement arrangements were set when this framework was established doesn’t really allow for that kind of analysis but we are working to change that.”