ALL black bag rubbish collected in Essex will be sent and processed in Basildon within the next 18 months .

Essex County Council has confirmed it intends to process all household waste at the treatment plant in Courtauld Road, which opened in November .

The plant currently processes all black bag waste which can’t be recycled from Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Brentwood and Chelmsford, which adds up to 45 per cent of the county total.

Mark Ellis, county and borough councillor for Laindon Park, has accused the county council of making Basildon a “dumping ground”.

Basildon Council has supported his calls for a review of waste sites across the county, but Mr Ellis claims the county council will not endorse it.

He said: “Although Basildon Council will now continue with the review, it will be ignored by Essex County Council.

“It will do environmental damage and we will also have huge HGV movements on the A127 and surrounding areas .

“Basildon is regarded as a dumping ground for Essex and there are too many waste facilities here already.

“We have more than our fair share and the A127 is already saturated.”

The Courtauld Road plant, known as the Tovi Eco Park , was built after the Essex Waste Partnership received £100million of public funding.

The plant can remove recyclable material from household waste, leaving the remainder for landfill.

The plant is in an interim “commissioning stage”, during which the operators are not subject to guarantees about performance. This period is due to end before January, 2017.

A second plant could be built in Courtauld Road if the county council secures a contract with waste firm Material Change to build and runasite to deal with food and garden waste for south Essex.

The anaerobic digester would be built over 12 acres next to the existing plant.

An existing landfill site, off Pitsea Hall Lane, could be used for another ten years if an application by site operator Veolia is accepted.

It was due to close this year , but the firm says increased recycling rates mean it has yet to fill up .

Waste powers Dutch homes

SOME of the waste thrown in bins is shipped overseas to power homes .

The Echo was invited to tour the Courtauld Road site earlier this year to see how the county’s rubbish was treated.

Black bag rubbish, some commercial waste, and even large sofas are ground down, with any recyclables removed, before being sent to the Netherlands .

Essex County Council does not yet have the technology to convert black bag rubbish processed at the site into electricity, as was planned, A huge lorry depot sees dustcarts empty their loads into large bays, where a mechanical grabber splits open the bags, before the junk is sent down a series of conveyer belts for sorting.

About 15 per cent of the contents, including metals, paper and plastics, is removed and sold to recycling firms by Balfour Beatty, which built and operates the site for County Hall.