Local campaigners have been taken aback by the Secretary of State’s decision to allow Waste Recycling Group (WRG) to construct a 3rd line at the Nottingham incinerator. The ageing and ailing Eastcroft burner would, if this plan goes ahead, increase its capacity by 100,000 tonnes per year, to 260,000 tonnes.

The decision overrides the refusal of planning permission issued by Nottingham City Council and the wishes of thousands of local residents. Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (NAIL) have been campaigning against the incinerator for over seven years and have been at the forefront of the campaign to prevent its expansion.

Part of what is confusing anti-incineration campaigners is the Secretary of State’s claim to have called in the decision to examine energy and climate change issues, yet Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government does not appear to have given any weight in her decision to climate change emissions that would be caused by the proposed expansion.

Emerging Government policy would appear to support incineration regardless of the energy efficiency and climate change impacts of the specific proposal.

At Eastcroft, for example, there was the possibility of enhancing the existing district heating scheme to utilise any heat generated by the expansion. The decision does not require WRG to harness (recover) the heat. As a result of this, on WRG’s own figures, less than 24% of heat would be recovered as electricity, while more than 75% of the heat would be wasted.

According to Nigel Lee, Nottingham Friends of the Earth:

The decision fails to examine NAIL’s evidence disproving WRG’s claim that the new line would save 24,060 tonnes of CO2 per year (IR para 131). WRG’s figures are misleading because they ignore 66% of the CO2 that would be emitted because it will be the result of burning biodegradable waste! During the Public Inquiry NAIL showed that if all climate change emissions are taken into account, WRG’s new incinerator would be no better than landfill. Improving recycling rates saves CO2 emissions, but WRG’s incinerator will not.

Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (NAIL) Chair, Jon Beresford, explains:

The Secretary of State’s decision effectively paves the way for WRG to start its building programme. WRG only have to agreed local issues such as colour schemes, lighting and soft landscaping.

The decision by the Government to support incineration rather than recycling is a real blow for the people of Nottingham, for our environment and for democracy. Residents of Nottingham said ‘NO’ in a 3000-signature petition and Nottingham City Council said ‘NO’ in their planning decision, yet the Government has overruled these local voices to support the profits of big business.

The Government has given the go-ahead on the basis that the expansion supports its Energy and Climate Change policy. This demonstrates what a state of utter shambles the Government’s policy is in. The incinerator will help us tackle climate change no more than a third runway at Heathrow or building more coal fired power stations. We should be reducing, reusing and recycling our waste to save the earth’s resources and reduce global warming gases, not incinerating waste to increase these gasses.

The decision might be a little more believable if the Secretary of State had imposed a condition on WRG to connect the incinerator to the district-heating scheme, to capture and use the heat, instead the heat will be released into the atmosphere and wasted. The only conditions imposed by the Government were with regards to soft landscaping, lighting and the colour of the chimney, not what comes out of it!

Even whilst the Government was making its decision, the plant continued to threaten our health with yet more pollution breaches. The Environment Agency issued yet another Site Warning on 8th October when the incinerator exceeded its Carbon Monoxide emission levels.

Latest Eastcroft incinerator site warning: October 2008. Carbon Monoxide 122mg.m3 against limit of 100mg/m3 (classed cat 4 by EA).

Further breach January 2009.

Carbon in ash September 2008 was ‘not considered a breach’ even though was .07% TOC over max limit of 3% and also Loss of Ignition was 4.2% against limit of 5% – “CAR quotes table 2.2.11 in permit condition “permitted installation must be operated to ensure the bottom ash shall have a total organic carbon content less than 3%, or a loss of ignition of less than 5% of the dry weight of the ash”.

2 Responses to “Eastcroft expansion decision”

  1. A version of this story from the Nottingham Evening Post

    CAMPAIGNERS have accused Hazel Blears of ignoring climate change and energy issues in allowing an expansion of Nottingham’s Eastcroft incinerator.

    The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has agreed an extra 100,000 tonnes a year can be burned at London Road.

    The decision – first reported in yesterday’s Evening Post – comes after a public inquiry in September, when applicants Waste Recycling Group (WRG) appealed against Nottingham City Council’s refusal of the proposals.

    Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (Nail), which led the campaign to prevent the expansion, hit out at Ms Blears’ decision.

    Nail chairman Jon Beresford said: “The Government has given the go-ahead on the basis that the expansion supports its Climate Change and Energy Policies. This demonstrates what utter shambles the Government’s policy is in.

    “The incinerator will help us tackle climate change no more than a third runway at Heathrow or building more coal-fired power stations.

    “We should be reducing, reusing and recycling our waste to save the earth’s resources and reduce global warming gases, not incinerating waste to increase these gases.”

    Nigel Lee, of Nottingham Friends of the Earth, said it appeared the decision had ignored calculations presented to the inquiry which argued the level of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the expansion would be no less than if the waste went to landfill.

    He said if the Government was serious about renewable energy, a specific condition should have been imposed obliging WRG to connect the additional energy to the district heating system.

    “We would have expected the Secretary of State would look at these arguments.”

    And Ian Pickering, chairman of residents’ group Forest Fields Improvement Association, said: “They have breached emission levels no end of times and been fined for it.

    “I think larger quantities of toxic materials are going to incineration and then floating over places like Sneinton and falling.”

    Decision officer Julian Pitt said Ms Blears considered incineration would divert waste from landfill.

    He said she concluded it was in line with policies encouraging the generation of renewable energy, including “the potential for some of the energy generated to be used via the Nottingham District Heating System”.

    He added that Ms Blears believed the incinerator – or energy from waste facility – “would not present any material risk to the health of the local population” and would not have a harmful effect on the regeneration the city.

    Robert Asquith, planning and estates manager for WRG, said the company was delighted with the decision.

    “This has been a long planning process and we have worked hard to deliver the best possible scheme for Nottingham,” he said.

    “This decision will allow Eastcroft to deal with an extra 100,000 tonnes of waste every year, significantly reducing our reliance on landfill.”

    The decision means WRG can build a third line of incineration, and increases the total capacity to 250,000 tonnes of waste a year.

    Nottingham City Council leader Coun Jon Collins said: “We are very disappointed by the decision and will be looking at what steps we can take to challenge it. We will be keen to sit down with campaigners to look at all the options.”


  2. we have prof paul connett at the moon hotel station rd spondon derby 7,30 to talk on dangers from incineration and how to recycle .and compost alternativly to zero waste please ask your members if they want to come its free bring a banner to say where your from .thanks pete ./spondon against cyclamax incinerator ////spondontyres@gmail.com.

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