A 420,000 tpa gasification-type incinerator, promoted by Pacific Green Technologies (PGTK, who took over PREL) as ‘EnergyPark Sutton Bridge’, has been refused planning consent by South Holland District Council.

Back in January 2014 the planning committee decided to grant planning consent, but this was successfully challenged by local campaigner Shirley Giles (who was represented by Deighton Pierce Glynn) who convinced the Council to agree to a quashing order at the High Court because the Council had “not properly considered the sustainability of the proposal before giving it the green light” [Source].

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This year’s UKWIN AGM will be open to all UKWIN Members free of charge (donations always welcome), from 11am at the Greenpeace Office in London on Saturday 30th May 2015. Note: please bring your own lunch, or eat nearby, this time.

I am very pleased to announce that our Guest Speaker will be Zero Waste Europe Director Joan Marc Simon. Joan Marc will speak about the evolving European policy context for waste management as well as the best ways for promoting the zero waste agenda.

Contact shlomo.dowen@gmail.com to book your place(s).

Relevant Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/396461387198760/

Some of the Lush funding, alongside some of UKWIN’s reserves, is ring-fenced to cover venue costs for a Skill-sharing and Strategy Workshop for the wider movement (including, but not limited to members of UKWIN, Biofuelwatch, Zero Waste England, etc.).

This Campaign Workshop could be held at the Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) building on a Saturday after the AGM, sometime between 4th July and 17th October 2015. No doubt this will be something discussed at the Open Meeting, alongside preparations for the AGM, etc.

The Workshop would cover topics such as: Positive alternatives to incineration (to follow on from Joan Marc’s AGM presentation); how to work with local communities and others to bring about lasting changes in opinions and behaviour in relation to resource use / waste management, and possibly also accessing and making effective use of environmental information and/or sharing campaigning experiences and strategies.

To help us decide on a date and focus for this Workshop, those of you who might consider attending are asked to complete the short survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYRR282

Existing UKWIN Directors (Trustees) think it would be good for UKWIN Members (including potential future UKWIN Trustees) to be invited to our next Meeting in Birmingham to increase the level of engagement with UKWIN members. Agenda items are expected to include discussions of the AGM programme and UKWIN workshop, UKWIN’s medium-term priorities, and opportunities for partnership working.

We applied for, and have been granted, £2,000 from Lush for a UKWIN Volunteer Travel and Venue Fund. This means we can hire the Birmingham Friends of the Earth (Warehouse) venue for an “open meeting” at some point between now and the AGM. There will be a small pot of money to share out to help cover travel expenses.
To help us decide on a date for this meeting (which would start at 11am and carry on until around 4pm), those of you who might consider attending are asked to indicate preferred dates using the Doodle Poll Facility at:
http://doodle.com/7cds78d7zym5x2zt

With their hard work, dedication, and willingness to share their knowledge and experiences with the wider anti-incineration movement, the local campaigners against the incinerator proposed for King’s Lynn have managed to mount a high-profile and successful campaign. UKWIN is delighted to report that campaigners in Norfolk and beyond are now celebrating the fact that waste giant Cory Wheelebrator has withdrawn their unpopular and unnecessary proposal for a 260,000 tonne per annum incinerator in King’s Lynn. Continue reading »

Packaging company DS Smith’s White Paper ‘One Step Away from Zero Waste‘ includes a call for an incineration tax and a recognition of incineration as a barrier to the circular economy. Continue reading »

Today the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRACOM) published their report into Waste Management in England.

Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator of the United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), commented: “I commend the report’s calls for maximising recycling, its recognition that put-or-pay clauses in incinerator contracts can undermine incentives to recycle, and the Committee’s recommendation that there should be a moratorium on the incineration of recyclable waste”.

UKWIN responded to EFRACOM’s call for evidence with a written submission, and was subsequently invited to provide oral evidence to the Committee.

EFRACOM cited UKWIN’s criticism of Government inconsistencies, quoting: “The pro-recycling message is being undermined by perverse financial incentives to incinerate and compost material that should not be…the Department for Communities and Local Government allows planning consent for incinerators that go against Government policies on climate change, energy efficiency and waste hierarchy”.

The Report calls for a Minister to be responsible for a consistent approach from the Government, and UKWIN hopes that this will bring an end to harmful incinerator subsidies and an end to the baffling investments from the Green Investment Bank in incinerator projects that are far from green.

UKWIN provided the Committee with evidence that incineration harms recycling, including what the EFRACOM report describes as “data showing an apparent correlation between high rates of incineration and low rates of recycling” (see table and chart, below).

LACW incineraton v recycling rankings table 2012-13LACW recycling v incineration rates graph 2012-13

Many long-term waste management contracts include ‘put-or-pay’ clauses requiring local authorites to pay for incineration capacity even if they do not use it, reducing their financial incentive to recycle.

EFRACOM’s report notes that: “When we asked the Minister how the Government ensures that only genuinely residual waste is sent to incinerators, he told us that the key pressure is gate fees—i.e. the charge that must be paid to dispose of waste in an incineration facility. However, we are concerned about the effectiveness of this singular mechanism following evidence we received about ‘put or pay contracts’ and negative impacts on recycling rates.”

The report recommends that: “…Defra should aspire to achieve recycling rates at the maximum feasible level…” and that Defra should: “…ensure that waste sent to…incinerators is only genuinely residual waste” and “assess whether the use of gate fees is sufficient to achieve this aim and to confirm whether additional interventions, such as regulatory requirements to remove dry recyclables or higher gate fees have been fully considered”.

Ed Miliband has called for the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to have “real powers to borrow and attract investment”.  The United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) and Biofuelwatch have responded by saying that any increase in funding or powers for the GIB should be linked to a responsibility to be greener in their investments.

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Even with economic growth there has been another big fall in standard rate landfilling in the UK. Landfill tax data was published on 27th August for period up to June 2014. In the 12 months to 30th June just 16.6m tonnes of non-inert waste was landfilled compared to 18.6m for the year before. By 2020 non-inert landfilling may be down to around 6-8m tonnes a year. Data available from: https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/Pages/TaxAndDutybulletins.aspx Continue reading »

The recently published report ‘Ever-Decreasing Circles: Closing in on the Circular Economy‘, produced collaboratively by RWM Ambassadors, has called for a review of the potential for an incineration tax amongst other measures. Continue reading »

the-wasteline-waste+resource-management_Jul2014-coverA briefing paper produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has raised a number of concerns relating to incineration and recommended that “the Treasury should launch a consultation on how incineration can be reduced most effectively”, advising that: “The terms of reference should include an examination of the costs and benefits of introducing fiscal incentives to reduce incineration, introducing regulations to ban the incineration of specific materials, and doing nothing”. Continue reading »

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