Monthly Archives: February 2014

Local Councillor plays politics with our lives.

For those of you who didn’t hear Councillor Hoar explaining why he broke an election promise to oppose the incinerator, here is the excerpt from his radio interview. He is challenged by Grace Onions, local resident and campaign member.

Cllr Hoar states that when he said they would oppose an incinerator in Croydon they were referring to ‘1950’s’ style incinerators which is a strange thing to say considering no one was expecting to go back in time and use redundant technology.

He also states that the incinerator isn’t in Croydon, as if that makes any difference when it’s no more than a couple of hundred metres over the border.  Let’s not forget their election promise stated they would oppose any incinerator ‘in Croydon or on the border of Sutton’.

tory incinerator promise 1Screenshot of Conservative’s website.

Cllr Hoar also goes on to say that the rubbish will be combusted at over 1000 degrees; however, the planning documents confirm the furnace is designed to meet the minimum requirements, which are to burn the rubbish at 850 degrees.

environmental statement full technical reportExcerpt taken from the Environmental Statement, Full Technical Report.

Burning rubbish at 1000 degrees will NOT break down all the chemicals as he suggests.  And if they are broken down what does he think they are broken down in to?

In burning something it does not magically disappear as Cllr Hoare seems to suggest.  The question we keep asking is: If nothing bad is coming out, why do we need 300 foot chimneys?

Cllr Hoar claims the other parties are playing politics with this issue and yet he is the one who has broken his promises and hides behind political rhetoric.  At best he is dangerously ill informed and at worst he is lying.

This is no surprise considering how badly informed all the councils are on this matter. If you listen to the advice given to Croydon council when they voted through the incinerator, they were told that there would be NO particulate matter coming from the chimneys at all.

In admitting traffic pollution is a problem for the borough and that the incinerator will require substantial vehicle movements, they conveniently glossed over the fact that diesel fumes cause cancer.

They also said they were only worried about Nitrogen Dioxide because this was at high levels in the area and that other pollutants were of no concern because they currently weren’t too high!

Croydon council admit that NO2 levels are at 45 μg/m3 annual mean whilst the World Health Organisation recommends it doesn’t exceed 40 μg/m3 annual mean.

They admit that the incinerator will increase these levels of NO2 and yet the council claims there will be no adverse affect to human health.

Who do you believe?



Outrage at letter in paper

Members of this campaign group, along with many others in the local area, are writing letters to the newspapers pretty much on a weekly basis.  As such we don’t usually keep you updated on the letters that are being published.

However, on this occasion a letter in the local paper promoting the benefits of the incinerator has generated so much debate that we felt it worthwhile putting on the web site.

The full letter in question can be found here along with the comments it generated.  The short version and the published letters in response are below.

criticism of incinerator unfounded - sutton guardian 6th feb

letters sutton guardian 13 feb 2014

Dear Sir,

I’ve read Martin Jenner’s incinerator letter (4 February 2014) with some interest as I’m also a Chartered Engineer, and have also been trained to base judgements on evidence since before I graduated.

Mr Jenner’s letter doesn’t mention health effects from incinerator emissions and no amount of visits to existing incinerators are likely to furnish him with indisputable data proving lack of harm to health.

If Mr Jenner has had training in “public health”, he’ll surely have learned about Dr John Snow, who mapped cholera deaths and was able to disprove the false, but widely-held theory that it was spread by “miasma”, i.e. the stench of sewage.

I’ve mapped infant mortality data at electoral ward level and have consistently found higher rates in wards exposed to incinerator emissions.  These Office for National Statistics data demonstrate that those claiming “no harm to health” from incinerator emissions are wrong and also that Environment Agency permits are being issued when the EA has no evidence of lack of harm to health from existing incinerators.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ryan

Chartered Civil Engineer since 1976


Incinerator Study Postponed

The article in air quality news hints at a cover up.  It may well be an attempt to give them more time to ‘massage’ the results or it could be that government agencies are have difficulty obtaining incinerator emissions data in a usable form.

We have seen on a number of occasions throughout this process the use of selective data, and modelling that has been worked out using inaccurate or out of date information.

Everything from site location to the type of technology to be used seems to have been predetermined and they have used the figures they need to ensure they get the answer they want.

On this campaign we have tried our hardest to be honest and present the facts.  Although both sides in an argument can be accused of “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” we have seen both Viridor and the council be very selective over their use of the truth.

For the full article on the delay of the incinerator study please see here: