WORK is set to start on a new multimillion pound waste management site.
The £4.9million plant will be based at Jack Crawford House in Hendon and will see rubbish from across Wearside, South Tyneside and Gateshead transported to the compound before it is then transferred to larger trucks.
The residual rubbish – left over once households have separated items which can be recycled – will then be taken to Teesside, where it will be used to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 30,000 homes, rather than go to a landfill.
The plan is being led by the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership and has caused concern among residents living close to the Commercial Road site, who fear the work will create extra traffic and noise because of the heavy goods vehicles involved, smells and vermin.
Sita UK, which has been appointed as a contractor for the project, has said it has addressed the fears, with only a minor increase in traffic to be generated and a study carried out to ensure the area can cope with the vehicles – although residents say their fears remain.
It has also said no waste to be disposed of at the Wearside plant itself.
It has met with those who live in the area to discuss issues and is now launching a group with the aim of ensuring residents are given a voice as preparations are made to start construction work on the site next month.
It has written to 800 residents and community organisations within Hendon to invite them to take part in the sessions, with the first to be held on Thursday.
A spokesman for Sita said: “Both Sita UK and the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership are seeking the involvement of the community for a liaison group.
“This will allow for information and updates to be presented to the community, while gathering feedback on and responding to any questions or concerns people might have about the development and operation of the facility.”
The operations will see 90 per cent of residual waste from the three council areas be burnt instead of dumped, with all waste to be handled indoors.
Sunderland City Council has said systems will be put in place to control the smell, dust and noise and the Environment Agency will also regulate and monitor the site to protect public health.
Residents may also be given the chance to see how the plant works in practice.
Anyone who would like to find out more about the liaison group can contact Sita on 0800 7811 577 or email Hendon@sita.co.uk
The first meeting will be held tomorrow at 6pm at the Raich Carter Centre.