The Facts about Waste Incineration

Economically Unsustainable

We have had a number of interesting issues raised by campaigners this week.  Firstly, Chris Sciberras has pointed out this fantastic video which explains why waste incineration is more costly economically and environmentally than other forms of waste treatment.

There is much talk that we need to move away from landfill because of the cost, but in fact waste companies often charge more to burn the rubbish than they do to bury it!

Also let’s not forget that Viridor can charge about 4 times more per tonne to burn the rubbish than they can to treat it through Anaerobic Digestion or Composting, both of which can also produce energy.

Not to mention properly sorting and recycling can produce 10 times more jobs than simply burning it.

Quite simply, if we focused on recycling and re-use there would be no need for a waste incinerator.

San Francisco is heading towards zero waste and Scotland plans to do the same.  In some parts of Wales recycling is up to 66%.

The best of the four boroughs involved in the South London Incinerator, Croydon, achieves about 47% recycling whilst the worst, Sutton, is going backwards and their recycling has dropped to 37%.

Environmentally Damaging

This week WHO announced that air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people a year.  It is a fact that the South London Waste Incinerator will increase pollution.

A local resident, Michael Ryan, has challenged Croydon Council’s claim that the incinerator will not harm our health with a detailed Freedom of Information request which can be found here.

We will keep you updated on how this goes.

It’s strange that when it comes to waste incineration the decision makers do not operate under the precautionary principle which is normally applied in these situations.

The burden of proof should be on the Councils and on Viridor to show that there will be no harm to human life, and yet this has been ignored in order to turn a profit.

  • smogbad

    There are very many things I could say,but a picture paints a thousand
    words.This is to scale,and the elevations are OS.When an inversion layer occurs
    the area under the dotted line would become very polluted.The council’s “expert”
    called this “relatively flat” and used the wind patterns from Gatwick airport,
    ‘nuf said.