Wednesday, 11 July 2012

No to incineration: There is a better and cheaper way to deal with waste

The Cornwall Waste Forum, which is leading the opposition to the construction of the incinerator at St Dennis (above), was yesterday refused leave to take their case to the Supreme Court.

The ruling represents really bad news for Cornwall and was summed up extremely well by Ken Rickard, the Chairman of the Forum.

He said: “In our opinion, this decision proves that political and multi-national lobbying is more effective than common law and democracy. This decision also smacks in the face of the Government’s Localism Bill.”

The reality is that there are better ways to deal with Cornwall’s domestic waste than stuffing it into an over-sized and unsustainable waste incinerator.

The Cornwall Waste Forum has itself produced an alternative to incineration, which was presented to the Council’s Waste Panel.

In summary, the Forum has proposed a more decentralised approach to waste management with three sorting plants (to remove recyclable materials from black bag waste) and three AD (anaerobic digestion) plants to deal with organic waste, sitting alongside a large waste awareness programme.

The estimates presented to the meeting by the Forum stated that the likely capital costs of the new facilities would be £60 million (compared to around £150 million for the incinerator plant) while the running costs would be £10 million less than the Council’s present preferred option.

At the meeting, I, once again, made the point that it was a disgrace that the leadership of Cornwall Council has refused to allow an alternative to incineration to be worked up. I added that the Council would be foolhardy and negligent not to properly consider the scheme presented by the Forum, and moved the following proposal:

The Waste Advisory Panel recommends to the Cabinet that:
(i) the high recycling option, presented by the Cornwall Waste Forum, and the Council’s incinerator option, be independently assessed as a matter of urgency,
(ii) and that this work be carried out in advance of any recommencement of physical works on the incinerator proposal.

The two parts of the proposal were voted on separately. The request for an independent assessment was carried unanimously (eight votes to nil) while the second part of the proposal was carried by six votes to two.


Lance said...

It has been established for some years that Incineration of waste is not the most environmental friendly or safe way to deal with waste - see Greepeace paper -
A genuine recycling process is safer and better for the planet. I think it was in Wakefield who had planned an incinerator but then decided to go for a pure recyling method for their waste.

Lance said...

It seems in Leicester a planned incinerator was scrapped -

David said...

The Germans have been incinerating waste for years with little environmental protest, perhaps we ought to ask them how its done.

St Denis may be just the wrong place, I know in Launceston we could do with the jobs and we've got excellent road communications.

Environmentally its better not to produce the waste in the first place. Tax excess packaging is not only good revenue but very green.