Campaigners turn up heat on councils over waste incinerator

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have called for more investment in recycling facilities while adding pressure on two councils to finally ditch a controversial waste-burning incinerator scheme.

Hull and East Riding Councils left the door open for the construction of an incinerator when they published their joint waste management strategy earlier this year, raising fresh concerns about a previously unsuccessful bid to build one in Saltend on the boundary between the two boroughs.

Battle was renewed this week when Beverley and Holderness Conservative MP Graham Stuart wrote to both authorities urging them to rule out such a project.

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Mr Stuart - who has also co-sponsored an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to ban the incineration of recyclable or compostable waste - said: “A number of years ago I founded ‘Hull and Holderness Opposing the Incinerator’, which fought a successful campaign to stop plans for an incinerator at Saltend. I was really pleased that campaign was a success and the idea was scrapped.

“The East Riding and Hull have made great progress in hitting recycling targets over recent years but I am concerned that their recent Joint Waste Plan Review has not discounted using incineration again in future – it’s inefficient, bad for the environment, and could cost the councils money if they miss their recycling targets. I have written to both councils urging them to rule out incineration in the future.”

And now the Hull branch of Friends of the Earth has backed the anti-incinerator stance while urging more focus on recycling.

Hull FoE member Lee-Ann Williams said: “It’s not an efficient way of getting rid of stuff. We’ve got to think about reducing and recycling before we think about destroying.

“Surely things should be reclaimed; if we had a different way of looking at things we’d be able to save money, we’d be able to re-use things, reclaim aluminium and glass and computer parts.

“A lot of rubbish gets sent abroad still and I know this is controversial.

“If we had the facilities in this country to reclaim precious metals that go into the production of computers we might find we don’t need to deplete resources in other countries.”

She added: “New technology is coming through all the time. Things are changing and we have to keep informed and make sure we can get involved if attention needs drawing to various points.”

A Liberal Democrat councillor in Hull has also pledged to maintain pressure on the city council’s Labour administration to rule out the possibility of an incinerator being built.

Coun Claire Thomas said: “I made a recommendation to cabinet asking them to rule out incineration and they refused to do that. I’m taking every opportunity to challenge them on what their plans are because they are not being open, they are not ruling it out so that might as well mean they are ruling it in, which is quite worrying.”

Meanwhile, developers behind a £3m anaerobic digestor are trying to reassure residents, saying it will create only a “very limited” smell.

Hundreds of people attended a public meeting in Leven to hear about the proposals for Yarrows Aggregates’ Little Catwick Quarry.

Owners FD Bird and Sons is seeking planning permission for the digestor, which will turn poultry manure, slurry and maize silage, as well as wheat residue from the new bioethanol plant at Saltend, into green energy.

Landowners John Bird said: “Raw sewage used to be put on land five to ten years ago, now it has all been banned. The same is going to happen in agriculture, where the waste from animals is going to have to be processed, so it is stable and is a quality fertiliser to go back on the land with 87 per cent of the odour removed. If anyone can smell it then we are losing money because we want that energy, we want that methane, going into the engine.”