New incinerator to be built in Surrey, contrary to policy

We were disappointed this week when the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, decided there was no need to review the decision to grant planning permission for a new waste incinerator in Shepperton, in North West Surrey.

There are numerous reasons why building this incinerator is a retrograde step.

It’s called an ‘Eco Park’ but there’s nothing ‘eco’ about it – it is a gasification incinerator that is “not any less polluting than any other thermal treatment plant”, according to an expert from SITA, the company that runs Surrey Waste Management.

This form of waste disposal technology is not supported by Surrey’s Waste Management Strategy or the Government’s national planning policies or Waste Review.

In fact it is an inefficient type of incinerator which will increase CO2 emissions, increase transport of waste, place a ceiling on recycling, and emit toxic pollutants.

The technology in use is far from proven – another gasification incinerator of this kind, in Dumfries, has suffered operational issues since it was built and breaches pollution standards on an alarmingly regular basis.

The Advertising Standards Authority found that SITA had misled the public in three important respects in promoting the scheme. Their illustrative drawings were misleading; the claim that it was a proven technology was untrue, as was their claim that the technology was operating successfully elsewhere.
We are staggered by the Secretary of State’s decision on such a controversial proposal and don’t want to see incinerators multiply in Surrey, as was indicated in the planning brief.

We believe that Surrey should instead focus on maximising waste reduction, reuse and recycling in all boroughs and combine this with siting Anaerobic Digestion plants (to treat organic waste such as waste food) as local as possible to the main centres of population.

Read more

Surrey Green Party submission – includes copies of press coverage on Incineration overcapacity and an operational report on the Dumfries incinerator

Read about the ASA ruling

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