11 Mar 2010

GCC condemned over incinerator plans

I was interested and pleased to see in The Citizen that Stroud MP David Drew has tabled a parliamentary petition condemning Gloucestershire County Council’s handling of the issue. As regular blog readers will know the site has been bought by the authority, and is earmarked for an incinerator or “other waste processes”. I have long felt the consultation has been flawed and the results also misrepresented (see here and here).

Photo: Signatures being collected in Gloucester against a large incinerator

The Commons motion by David Drew challenges why only 400 households in the immediate area have been consulted on the plans. It calls for the process to be extended so all those affected would have the opportunity to have their say.

However Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has said generating power from waste, including burning, can offer “considerable climate change benefit” compared to dumping it in the ground. Of course but what nonsense to burn when there are even greater cost and carbon savings with other technologies.

The full wording of Mr Drew's Early Day Motion is: 'That this House condemns the current consultation on waste disposal in Gloucestershire concerning the location of an incinerator or other waste processes at Javelin Park near Junction 12 of the M5; questions why only 400 households in the immediate area have been consulted; and asks that the consultation be much broader so that all those affected can be asked for their view on this key issue.’


Joker said...

'Of course but what nonsense to burn when there are even greater cost and carbon savings with other technologies.'

Yes, but I see that once again, instead of promoting those other technologies (technologies that deal with residual waste, mind you), we get a blanket criticism of incineration. GCC aren't going to be dissuaded by vague arguments that 'there must be some other way'.

Then again, the Green Party, along with Labour and the Lib Dems, benefit electorally from a Tory council choosing incineration, which is what is really meant by 'key issue' above, so why would they get behind a genuine alternative, if it existed?

Philip Booth said...

Please please we have put forward alternatives which this blog has covered a dozen times and are also available on our website and in letters to local press - MBT with AD plus increased recycling rates and moves to reduce overall waste.......I'm not going to repeat here.

I've also personally had considerable correspondence in previous years with Cllr Stan Waddington over this issue - much of it very reasonable and as stated here, I have felt the Tories were open to alternatives to a large incinerator - however as each month goes by I am more concerned....why like other Tory Councils did they not rule out a large incinerator early on? Why do they appear to misrepresent the survey results? Etc.

It would be a serious mistake to choose a large incinerator - we will all pay for that if it goes ahead - it is certainly therefore a key issue - I am delighted that a majority of the electorate also oppose a large incinerator.... although as you hint this issue has been stirred up politically - often in an unhelpful way with emotive arguments.

And yes Labour have failed to nationally rule out large incinerators although many of them - like many Tories - have hinted it is not the way we should be going.

Joker said...

I would say to that that you may have put forward alternatives, but what keeps coming up are anti-incineration entries. It's little better than the calls to 'rule out' incineration (which are never satisfied with the insistence that it hasn't been ruled in yet).

What I would like to see is one entry, labelled with something like 'Incineration; the alternative', which just states the one option which the majority of people who are opposed to incineration have agreed on as a better choice. Something, as I have said before, for people to 'get behind', so that the political opportunists don't get the chance to cloud the issue.

And it can't be something like 'we'll just keep burying residual waste until we figure out what to do with it', unless we agree to a special tax on everybody to cover the cost of the resulting EU fine (judging from an episode of Radio 4's 'Costing The Earth' a while back, some people would probably be happier to pay that and throw away as much as they like than save the money and be more responsible). This has got to be something that people who really know their onions, and can crunch the numbers, can outline a strategy for.

Andy said...

Don't forget J that incineration needs to landfill as much as 25% of the stuff burnt - alternatives for the toxic ash are few are far between.