Recycling urged instead of North Yorkshire waste plant

Residents protest against the incinerator Residents have staged protests about the plans

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Calls have been made to improve recycling rates in North Yorkshire rather than build a controversial waste incinerator.

A decision on whether to approve the plant close to Knaresborough and Harrogate will be made next month.

Councillor John Savage has said if recycling rates were improved there would be no need for it.

The county council said it was planning to recycle more and the site would "complement" those efforts.

Mr Savage, who represents the Ainsty Division and Marston Moor wards, has been a leading opponent of North Yorkshire County Council's plan for the incinerator at Allerton Quarry.

'Deplorable' rate

Figures for 2009/10 show Harrogate's recycling rate was the worst in the county, at just 31%.

Mr Savage said the authority should be striving to achieve rates of more than 70% across the county, similar to targets reached at other councils.

He said: "Harrogate is deplorable at 31%... if we could have better recycling rates there would be no need for this energy from waste plant."

Ian Fielding, assistant director of waste management at North Yorkshire County Council, said: "We will never get away from the need to treat waste.

"We can recycle more and we're planning to recycle more across North Yorkshire and particularly in Harrogate there is more work to be done.

"We're not sitting back and not doing anything in fact the proposal at Allerton Park is not instead of recycling, it's very much complementary to it."

AmeyCespa has been named as the preferred bidder to build and manage the new waste facility.

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