We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

'Too Big, Too Dirty and Just Plain Wrong' - Incinerator Must be Stopped say Lib Dems

October 3, 2008 6:36 PM

Days before Bedford Borough Council is set to decide on whether to support the project to build a giant waste incinerator near Stewartby, the Liberal Democrats have re-affirmed their opposition to the plans and set out the four key reasons why they believe the project must not go ahead.

The incinerator project has been driven forward to date by the Tory-run County Council, with Bedford Borough Lib Dems consistently opposing the environmentally harmful plans and arguing in favour of superior waste disposal solutions such as Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT). With the County Council's forthcoming demise it is now up to Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Councils to decide whether the plans are to progress. Bedford Borough Council's Implementation Executive makes its decision on Tuesday 7th October.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Implementation Executive Member Cllr Michael Headley said: "The proposed giant incinerator is too big, too dirty and just plain wrong. We have been critical of this project at every stage. We recognise that we cannot go on putting waste in the ground and that something has to be done, but this isn't it. We have instead proposed the use of superior technology so that every possible ounce of usable material is extracted from the waste.'

"A massive, constant stream of waste will be needed to feed this monster, undermining efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling. The Council will be tied into this project for twenty five years. With so much at stake, the decision is too important to get wrong."

The four key reasons why Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats believe the project must not go ahead are as follows:

1 It is not the best option environmentally:

Incineration is the wrong option for the environment. Analysis commissioned by the County Council itself shows that incineration is not the best option in terms of its impact on climate change. The same analysis shows that it also suffers in comparison with other technologies on other environmental grounds.

2 It is too big - it will work against waste reduction and recycling:

Incineration will undermine efforts to reduce, re-use and recycle waste. The proposed plant will have a capacity of nearly 200,000 tonnes. The need to keep waste levels at or near this large capacity for financial reasons will make the important aims of waste reduction, re-use and recycling uneconomic. This is madness.

3 It Contradicts the Waste Strategy for Bedfordshire:

The Waste Strategy for Bedfordshire was published in 2006 with the support of the County, Bedford Borough, and Mid and South Bedfordshire Councils. It included a shortlist of the five 'Best Practicable Environmental Options,' all of which involved MBT-based solutions. The document clearly established the principle that as much useful material as possible should be extracted from waste after it is collected. The plans to burn all waste that is not recycled are in direct contradiction to this principle, and in effect meant that for the last two years local residents have been misled about the intentions for waste disposal in Bedfordshire. The principles set out in the Waste Strategy for Bedfordshire should be honoured.

4 Who's in Charge? The Project is Completely Undemocratic:

Proposed arrangements for the project's decision-making process shut out elected representatives. Unelected officials have no right to take decisions which will have such a significant impact on local residents, not only in the villages near the proposed incinerator but across the county.