ROUGHLY 200,000 tonnes a year of waste from Basildon’s controversial waste plant will be dumped in a landfill, Essex County Council has confirmed.

“Refuse derived fuel” had previously been transported to the Netherlands for incineration from the Eco Tovi Site, in Basildon,

But Dutch officials are planning to slap a £28-per-tonne tax on the import of foreign waste for incineration.

The underperforming plant was designed to convert 420,000 tonnes of mixed waste into fuel which could then be burned.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Essex County Council has neither reversed its plans nor policy. The current service orders under the existing waste disposal framework are due to expire in March 2020.

“The award of new service orders was the result of a mini competition and was dependent on external market conditions which may have been influenced by the part-closure of the Dutch AEB facility and proposed tax on waste imports to the Netherlands.

“Under the new service orders, refuse derived fuel from the Basildon facility will be sent to landfill as the most cost-effective option for the facility’s output. This material has undergone treatment to remove certain recyclables and reduce its biological content making it less active.”

The plant is still at the centre of a major dispute between the council and Urbaser Balfour Beatty over claims it is not working properly, with the total volume of waste processed at the facility still below its design capacity.

As a result of the changes, refuse derived fuel and municipal solid waste - amounting to 200,000 tonnes - will be sent to landfill at the Bellhouse site, near Colchester, with all the costs associated with landfill tax, that is expected to rise to £94 a tonne next year.

Any changes may come into effect from January 1, 2020.

County waste boss Simon Walsh said at a meeting that the county council will keep the situation under review. He said: “If new opportunities arise to dispose RDF in a more appropriate way such as providing energy from waste then that’s exactly what we’ll do.”