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Calls for public inquiry into proposed Plymouth incinerators

Protestors are calling for a public inquiry into proposals to build an energy from waste incinerator in Plymouth.

Currently, there are two proposals for different sites under consideration by South Devon Waste Partnership, both of which involve incineration. One at North Yard, Devonport, submitted by MVV Umwelt and the other for a site at New England Quarry, Lee Mill proposed by Viridor.

Both proposals have received stiff opposition from residents, some of whom have got together to form the group Incineration Is Wrong which organised a 200-strong protest march in the St Budeaux area of Plymouth on Saturday.

The group also held its second public meeting last night where they elected a committee and agreed to become affiliated with the national group, UK Without Incineration Network.

IIW chairman Stuart Billinghurst said: We are calling for a public inquiry, like the one in Cornwall looking at the SITA incinerator. We are trying to get the waste partnership to consider other options as we think there are better solutions for dealing with waste, even if they are not as attractive to private companies.

Plymouth has extremely low recycling rates and under this proposal they are not likely to increase. The partnership should be looking at ways to get people to recycle more, which would reduce the amount of black bag waste which would in turn remove the need for an incinerator.

Waste is a resource so why would we want to burn it? Plastics are one of the key ingredients for generating the burn in an incinerator and plastic comes from oil which is a finite resource.

We hope there will be a public inquiry because at the moment the partnership is not considering anything else except incineration and residents have not had any say in it.

A South Devon Waste Partnership spokesman said: "The South West Devon Waste Partnership has to find a solution for dealing with our waste. Recycling, composting and waste minimisation are priorities but we need to find a way to treat the remainder. No site has been chosen yet, and at that stage planning will allow for full and thorough public consultation." 

South Devon Waste Partnership is made up of Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council and Devon County Council.

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