You can't compare Worcestershire to Brum, says councillor amid incineration debate

An artist's impression of the Hartlebury incinerator

An artist's impression of the Hartlebury incinerator

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

ONE of Worcestershire's leading politicians says he will not be turning his back on the county's incinerator - despite warnings from neighbouring Birmingham.

Just as work is getting underway on a massive £160 million rubbish burner at Hartlebury, a new report from the Second City is urging Brum to dump incineration as a future tactic for dealing with waste.

Birmingham signed up to a 25-year contract in 1994 with multi-national firm Veolia for an incinerator which has operated in Tyseley and turns waste to energy.

A report for councillors in Birmingham was published in July claiming the deal proved to be "not future proof" and has seen the city miss out on a potential financial bonanza from recycling.

Their deal ends in 2019, and politicians in Brum are being urged to look for an alternative approach to dealing with rubbish once it expires.

In Worcestershire's case, the county council signed a deal with West Mercia Waste and the new incinerator will be in operation from 2017.

Campaigner Rob Wilden, from Hereford and Worcestershire Action Group (HWAG), wants County Hall's leadership to heed the warnings but his plea is being rejected.

Mr Wilden said: "You only have to look down the road to see how in Birmingham, they are beginning to think it was a mistake and are searching for new solutions for waste disposal.

"Yet at the same time we're building this massive incinerator here. Let's learn from them, not ignore these warnings."

But Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for the environment, has rejected the stance, pointing to a raft of evidence around the Hartlebury plant being what he calls the best option.

"Birmingham is a bigger authority than us, they have their own issues and I don't want to get into whether they've done it right or not," he said.

"Their contract was put in place a long time ago, and when it comes to their history of waste disposal they've got a chequered record, they've always been behind us.

"We've kept our methods and waste contract up to date, we've changed things when we needed to and our recycling record has been incredibly popular and successful.

"We have to dispose of our rubbish one way or another and I've said all along that this will give us waste security."

The council also says its landfill sites will be full by 2023 on current trends, and a 'do nothing' could see disposal costs spiral from £1.6 billion to £2.2 billion by 2042.

Rubbish from the plant will be collected from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire, burning it to generate electricity for the National Grid.

The site will be run by West Mercia Waste Management under the PFI deal, but will be handed back to Worcestershire and Herefordshire councils to operate from 2023.

Comments (2)

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8:03am Wed 3 Sep 14

Thea says...

Incineration interferes with reduction, reuse and recycling, which started being dismantled as soon as recycling officers lost their jobs (got Derby to nearly 50% in less than 10 years) when the incineration contract was signed. Recycling dropped in that first year by 2% and is steadily dropping as waste needs to be found to 'feed' the future burner. Its all in the contract. http://www.foe.co.uk
/groups/derby/709.ht
m Councillors were duped into signing it and now regret it.

The Derbyshire incineration plant -destined for the poorest most deprived wards of Sinfin and Osmaston, in Derby - and associated traffic, will worsen air quality in a designated AQMA -Air Quality Management Area, in which people are already breathing substandard air because of heavy industry and traffic. Derby City Council have admitted that the life expectancy of Derby people (already a dismal year less than the national average) will not improve, if air quality does not improve.

The incinerator operators LIED to the council about pollution from the incinerator too http://www.foe.co.uk
/groups/derby/533.ht
m and have been caught in Bolton switching off CEMS (Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems)
Just thought we should warn you too

Derby and South Derbyshire Friends of the Earth
http://tinyurl.com/c
6cxjcw
Incineration interferes with reduction, reuse and recycling, which started being dismantled as soon as recycling officers lost their jobs (got Derby to nearly 50% in less than 10 years) when the incineration contract was signed. Recycling dropped in that first year by 2% and is steadily dropping as waste needs to be found to 'feed' the future burner. Its all in the contract. http://www.foe.co.uk /groups/derby/709.ht m Councillors were duped into signing it and now regret it. The Derbyshire incineration plant -destined for the poorest most deprived wards of Sinfin and Osmaston, in Derby - and associated traffic, will worsen air quality in a designated AQMA -Air Quality Management Area, in which people are already breathing substandard air because of heavy industry and traffic. Derby City Council have admitted that the life expectancy of Derby people (already a dismal year less than the national average) will not improve, if air quality does not improve. The incinerator operators LIED to the council about pollution from the incinerator too http://www.foe.co.uk /groups/derby/533.ht m and have been caught in Bolton switching off CEMS (Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems) Just thought we should warn you too Derby and South Derbyshire Friends of the Earth http://tinyurl.com/c 6cxjcw Thea
  • Score: 1

3:32pm Wed 3 Sep 14

PrivateSi says...

The incinerator is at least 10 years to late, over priced and does not heat water for homes... We need over 100 CLEAN BURN CHEMICAL REFINING INCINERATORS combined with recyling and bio-gas facilities spread over the 2000+ landfills around Britain...

You can pump the virtually PURE CO2 into gradually REFOREST AREAS on-site with new homes round about - or store if you're severely CO2 phobic... Nimbies are not just energy secutity 'holes, they're holding back a nation... Awful people, like neo-greenies with their crap'n'trade pollution scam and support for nuclear fission (Thorium & Fusion acceptable though)...

You do realise these landfills are gassing off much methane (that can be tapped, cleaned and stored) as well as leaching toxins into the soil? Beats FRACKING, anti-incinerators... Turn WEIRS into a few MW MINI-HYRDO plants too... Forget wind and wait for solar tech. to blossom in the next 5 years...
The incinerator is at least 10 years to late, over priced and does not heat water for homes... We need over 100 CLEAN BURN CHEMICAL REFINING INCINERATORS combined with recyling and bio-gas facilities spread over the 2000+ landfills around Britain... You can pump the virtually PURE CO2 into gradually REFOREST AREAS on-site with new homes round about - or store if you're severely CO2 phobic... Nimbies are not just energy secutity 'holes, they're holding back a nation... Awful people, like neo-greenies with their crap'n'trade pollution scam and support for nuclear fission (Thorium & Fusion acceptable though)... You do realise these landfills are gassing off much methane (that can be tapped, cleaned and stored) as well as leaching toxins into the soil? Beats FRACKING, anti-incinerators... Turn WEIRS into a few MW MINI-HYRDO plants too... Forget wind and wait for solar tech. to blossom in the next 5 years... PrivateSi
  • Score: -1
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