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.
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%.
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.