Newport Incineration Project Sinking

 Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign welcome Assembly report 

SNIC welcomed today’s report from the National Assembly for Wales Petitions Committee The report casts serious doubt on the Welsh Government’s decade-long support for waste incineration by raising crucial questions about health risks and recycling.

The report asks the Welsh Government to do its utmost to ensure that the target of 70% recycling by 2025 is met. This means that the burning of recyclable materials is to be minimised not promoted by a new generation of waste incinerators.

Incinerators are by their nature expensive to build and run, and their investment payback period is long. They need to have a high and regular flow of combustible materials such as plastics and biomass to make them work efficiently.

Two further recommendations are to actively support emerging technologies and to undertake a study of health risks from the emissions from incinerators.

Robert Hepworth, Chair of SNIC said, “The Committee have spoken for the people of Wales in questioning incineration on health and recycling grounds. We now call on the Welsh Government to level the playing field for grants so that local authorities can realistically consider alternatives to incineration. We encourage the 5 local authorities involved to insist on a full re-tender. This will save taxpayers wasting huge sums on redundant and unhealthy incineration plants which we could be stuck with for 30 years.”

He added ” the Report is perfectly timed as we see that Wales only existing waste incinerator at Crymlyn Burrows had again been closed this week after breaching its emission limits – how many more reports and practical lessons are needed to make our Government see sense and ban more incineration ?
Pippa Bartolotti, SNIC spokesperson, added: “This is excellent news for our campaign. In the light of the consistent increase in householder recycling, the entire incineration project is looking very shaky indeed – indeed a sinking ship. The clear signal from the Petitions Committee is that incineration is not the way forward for Wales.

“Campaigners across Wales have always argued in favour of alternative technologies to incineration which are commercially available from UK-based manufacturers. Now is the time to investigate these alternatives and give the people of Wales a method of waste disposal which is less harmful to the environment, and properly in tune with a zero waste strategy. The incinerator ship is sinking.”

Campaigners throughout Wales have repeatedly asked for the Welsh Government to conduct further research on health risks, and to update the incineration project’s recycling figures in line with reality.

Veolia are appealing the refusal of planning permission in Newport. Viridor have started work in Cardiff pending the award of contract from the Welsh Government.

 SNIC are in possession of QC advice that re-tendering can take place without financial or legal penalty and the arguments for doing so in the public interest, and as a result of changes in the facts on the ground – notably reduced waste flows, new policy statements from the EU against use of incineration and advances in alternative technology. The new report from WAG is a further incentive to re-tender.

Pippa Bartolotti, SNIC Spokesperson (and Leader of Wales Green Party)

 

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