On Saturday 20th March, Chesterfield will play host to a gathering of anti-incineration campaigners from around the country when the United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the church on Spencer Street.

UKWIN is a network of 110 campaigners and campaign groups from throughout the UK. Many of these will be represented at the AGM, where they will listen to guest speaker Alan Watson deliver a presentation tracing the history of the anti-incineration movement.

Alan Watson will deliver a presentation tracing the history of the anti-incineration movement

Alan Watson will deliver a presentation tracing the history of the anti-incineration movement

Mr Watson, Director of Public Interest Consultants, is a recognised expert on waste treatment and disposal, and a former a member of Environmental Protection Advisory Committee for the Environment Agency in Wales. He previously worked for the Department of the Environment and was the senior specialist on Industry and Pollution for Friends of the Earth.

Participants will also be treated to a presentation from waste statistician Keith Kondakor about current trends in waste reduction and how to use waste data to support anti-incineration campaigning.

UKWIN’s National Coordinator, Shlomo Dowen, will explain how his High Court victory means campaigners can use the Audit Commission Act to reveal the financial arrangements behind large waste contracts.

This year’s AGM will be hosted by the local Chesterfield, Derbyshire and Derby groups.

Julie Harrington of Chesterfield Against Incineration (CAI) explains:

The event is particularly timely as a decision by Derbyshire County Council on whether to refuse planning permission for an incinerator in Chesterfield is imminent.

The planning application from the Wales-based firm Cyclamax, for a hazardous, commercial waste incinerator on Dunston Road, Chesterfield has generated an over-whelming level of public opposition from both residents and businesses, with over 11,000 objections to date, as well as opposition from every parish, town, borough and district council in the area.

The event will be an opportunity for local waste campaign groups to compare notes with others from throughout the UK. UKWIN’s National Coordinator, Shlomo Dowen, is looking forward to the event.

Gatherings like this one are always uplifting for those involved. They combine the serious work of campaigning and the joy of being with like-minded people.

According to Friends of the Earth’s Keith Kondakor:

Incineration is a false solution. Using the Earth’s finite resources more efficiently and cost-effectively demands more reuse, recycling and composting. Burning valuable materials is economic madness. We have just started on a recycling revolution in the UK that is diverting waste from landfill more quickly, more safely and less expensively than these costly, wasteful and unloved incinerator projects.

CAI’s Julie Harrington adds:

UKWIN has been a very valuable source of information and a great source of support for the campaign group, providing access to well-researched data and evidence on a range of safer and greener alternatives to gasification/incineration; experts on incineration processes and their environmental impacts; and case studies from councils across the country that have already ruled out incineration as an option in their waste strategies.

We encourage anyone interested in the subject to attend the AGM and benefit from the vast amount of knowledge and experience that UKWIN has gathered on these controversial and potentially health-damaging technologies.

The South Yorkshire Star is reporting that:

Campaigners battling plans for a £30 million incinerator to burn waste including hazardous materials have secured the backing of Chesterfield Council. Continue reading »

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