Shasha Khan’s legal fight against the South London Incinerator made it on to the BBC this weekend.
Whilst we appreciate that the BBC needs to be impartial by including the issues from both sides, unfortunately the information provided to them wasn’t accurate.
The report claims that a nearby housing estate will be heated by the incinerator. This is not entirely correct. No heat will be provided for several years if at all.
Most combined heat and power (CHP) waste incinerators never provide heat due to the prohibitive costs involved in laying the pipes. To our knowledge only 4 out of about 24 CHP incinerators have their heat utilised.
If the incinerator is just producing electricity then it becomes more polluting than the fossil fuel power stations they claim it will be replacing.
The news item also references the SLWP claim that the incinerator will save us £200 million. The latest WRAP report figures show that you could make savings over double that by using less dangerous waste treatment than incineration.
It was good to see a reference to decreasing waste and how this makes the need for an incinerator redundant. Over capacity is a problem in Europe and now England. These are just some of the incinerators that need more waste: Lakeside near Heathrow, Allington in Kent, Plymouth, Sheffield and Ipswich.
If there is not enough rubbish to go in the incinerators that are already built, why are we getting another one?
And worse than that, the South London Incinerator will have spare capacity from the day it opens. It has the capacity to burn 300,000 tonnes of rubbish a year. There are only 200,000 tonnes of rubbish in the four boroughs involved in this plan.