Despite intense lobbying for incineration by certain parts of the waste industry, the Prime Minister yesterday hit out at the green wash associated with waste incineration.

Hansard records the following exchange, which took place yesterday (30th June 2010) at the House of Commons.

Nadine Dorries (Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire):

The American waste giant, Covanta, is proposing to build in my constituency an incinerator about the size of Wembley. Will the Prime Minister give an assurance that decisions about such matters will be made at a local level in future?

The Prime Minister:

My hon. Friend is right to raise this, and it is right that decisions should be made locally. We want to make sure that all the latest technology for alternatives to incineration is considered, so that we can make sure that we are using the best ways to achieve a green approach.*

This reply from David Cameron is welcomed by UKWIN and will be seen as a positive sign by the coalition of independent Environmental groups campaigning against waste incineration in Gloucestershire and the global Anti-Covanta movement.

Further details of the current situation in Gloucestershire can be found on the Gloucestershire Against Incinerators website, created to serve the Gloucestershire anti-incineration waste campaign.

Several independent Environmental groups are actively campaigning against waste incineration in Gloucestershire, including: GlosAIN (Gloucestershire Against Incinerators), GlosVAIN (Gloucestershire Vale Against Incineration), GFOEN (Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth Network), and the Bishops Cleeve-based SWARD (Safety in Waste and Rubbish Disposal).

The website features a petition calling for Gloucestershire County Council, the District Councils of Gloucestershire and the Government not to accept a large scale incinerator as the solution for dealing with residual waste in Gloucestershire because:
• Tackling climate change is a priority and better technologies are available
• It produces toxic fly ash
• It reduces the incentive to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost thus wasting resources
• It could be a high risk, long term, contractual expense for the local taxpayer
• If needed, residual waste should be treated under short term contracts by small local facilities

The false claims made about incineration by some in the waste industry have been recently criticised by GAIA, see EU incinerator subsidies worsen climate change. GAIA stands for The Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance: Mobilizing grassroots action against the spread of incinerators and other polluting, end-of-pipe waste technologies. GAIA also stands for The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives: Building the movement for environmental justice, local green economies, and creative zero waste solutions.

*Note: According to a video recording David Cameron actually said “Well, my honourable friend is right to raise this and it’s right that decisions should be made locally, and we want to make sure that all the latest technology in terms of alternatives to incineration are looked at so we can actually make sure we are using the best ways to make sure that we have a green approach”.

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