We have been faced with a Regional Waste Plan, a consortium of 5 Local Authorities set up to contract for a joint residual waste “facility”, and an emerging Welsh Waste Strategy review.

Hyder was responsible for public consultation on our Regional Plan – they just pushed incinerators in their presentation and on-line trick questionnaire. The angle they are trying is that any industrial site could be used for a waste facility. They claim 4% per yr increase in waste, ignore increased recycling and put the numbers through the WRATE black-box.

A cabal of Local Authority officers, with some in the Welsh Assembly are trying for 30% incineration with a large incinerator in Cardiff – where the Lib-Dem administration are going along with it. The huge PFI costs are giving problems.

On the other hand, the Welsh Minister has outlined policy for 70% recycling / composting and waste growth of 1% per year. She is stronger than England’s Joan Ruddock and has made climate change a priority. We have put in a case that incineration maximises CO2 etc. to the Welsh Assembly and will use FOE and Eunomia reports on this.

We are also pressing Welsh officials with the help of Keith Kondakor and Alan Watson to
a) accept WRATE is misused and
b) to drop prejudice against MBT-stabilate.

We also challenge their claim to small CHP incinerators that have high energy efficiency. The examples they gave of Grimsby (feeding heat to an industrial use) and Coventry (fictional heat use, from Euro-examples) were disputed as unrepresentative for Wales purposes.

The promised Waste Policy review has been repeatedly delayed (now expected in the autumn); meanwhile a lot of money is going to separate collection and AD of food waste, with the Minister pressing for greater effort on waste minimisation and recycling. The target of at least 70% for recycling and composting, based on a study by Eunomia Consulting, will hopefully stick – and we will press for it to be brought forward. [Max Wallis 29 April 2008]

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