27 October 2008

Chatting About Incineration With Liz

I'll be on the Liz Kershaw breakfast programme tomorrow morning (BBC Coventry and Warwickshire), as a guest to talk about the incinerator.

Hazel Noonan (Con-Cheylesmore), the cabinet member for City Services, and the PPC for Coventry North-East, will also be on.

It's hard to exaggerate how much of a mistake a PFI-led incinerator project would be.

- they want to build it on urban greenbelt land ... on a flood plain ... on former allotment lands

- they're assuming that waste will grow each year, but waste in Coventry fell by 1.5% last year, and it's drastically down this year so far

- the council wants to spend an extra £500 000 a year on recycling ... which sounds good ... until you hear that they want to spend an extra £4.5 million a year on incineration

- a PFI project locks us in for three decades at £90 per tonne of waste, and we'll have to keep feeding it and feeding it and feeding it ... diverting money away from recycling projects that could provide much more local employment than a PFI which drains money away to the financiers

- there are better proposals in for the same pot of PFI money, and they don't have a plan B. The plan B that should happen is a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant (MBT). There are 50 MBT plants in Germany. This is not new or untested technology. Here in the UK, Leicester has a MBT which is relatively primative, but there is a better one in Norfolk, and two of them in Lancashire. The Lancashire one works like a coffee percolator on leftover waste (after we reduce, after we reuse, after we recycle), and such a MBT can be built in 2 years ... unlike a long commissioning process for an incinerator.


Sue Luxton said...

Good luck, go kick arse on this one. Lewisham, home of the not so lovely SELCHP (aka the New Cross incinerator) has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country - no landfill tax to urge the Council to improve recycling rates. Also make sure it has monitoring of PM2.5, which NX currently doesn't, only the larger particulate matter.

Sue Luxton said...

Adrian's Green Reading blog also just reminded me of this classic John Prescott one-liner: "The green belt is a Labour achievement and we mean to build on it." I guess that includes incinerators then . . .

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