INCINERATION is one of only two core technologies proposed by firms bidding to deal with residual waste in Gloucestershire – and all their plans make some use of Javelin Park near Stonehouse. Gloucestershire County Council, which is ‘technology neutral’, released the information after reducing the number of bidders from 10 to four at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Officials claim they cannot reveal more details or rule-out incineration due to EU competition rules.

Speaking during the meeting at Shire Hall, Stan Waddington, cabinet member for waste, said: "All of the bidders going forward make some use of Javelin Park.

"That doesn’t mean to say that this is the only site used, or that all the processes will take place there.

"In some cases final processing takes place outside of Gloucestershire.

"Any of these four companies may ultimately be chosen to build these new facilities – we have said very clearly all along that we are technology neutral."

The county council paid £7.5million for Javelin Park in January to win £92million of government private finance initiative credits.

Ten firms were invited in autumn to submit bids to build and operate a site to process non-recyclable waste.

After an evaluation, cabinet shortisted four bidders to provide detailed plans by late spring: Complete Circle, Cory Environmental Management, Urbaser and Viridor.

The two technologies they propose are incineration and mechanical biological treatment.

Stroud MP David Drew said: "We are going towards a big incinerator at Javelin Park.

"They want this thing out of sight and out of mind, it’s on the motorway and they have bought it so they need to justify that."

Mr Drew said dispersed local waste sites using anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting were better than a centralised solution. Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth Network has collected a 2,500-signature petition against the possibility of a large-scale incinerator at Javelin Park.

The network will start a campaign in January to press Shire Hall to release details of how they will interpret their criteria for choosing a final bidder.

County councillor Sarah Lunnon (Green, Stroud East), said Shire Hall should shop being ‘technology neutral’ and take control of its waste strategy.

Proposed technologies: * Incineration – waste is burnt to make steam which can be used to generate electricity and sometimes to heat homes and businesses. The emissions from incinerators must be carefully controlled and the air cleaned before it is released.

* Mechanical biological treatment might involve several technologies, including composting anaerobic digestion, and biodrying