An MEP has questioned the viability of plans to build an energy from waste (EfW) incinerator in Norfolk because of a resolution from fellow MEPs that would ban recyclable materials being incinerated.
The claim was made by Labour MEP Richard Howitt in his submission to a planning inquiry into the proposed King’s Lynn EfW plant, as reported by Lynn News.
He referred to a European Parliament resolution to limit incineration with energy recovery to “non-recyclable materials only” from 2020.
The MEPs’ resolution, passed in May 2012, calls for the “for the phasing-out, by the end of this decade, of incineration of recyclable and compostable waste”.
He said this meant that sending waste to the plant without checking for recyclable material would not be allowed, which would impact during the lifetime of the the incinerator.
Howitt said that, under current plans, black bags of rubbish would go straight from households to the incinerator without being checked for recyclables
“Although the plans to send tens of thousands of tonnes of waste to this plant without them being checked for recyclable materials may fall within the letter of the law today, it is evident that more ambitious and stringent targets for moving up the waste hierarchy are imminent,” he added.
“It is also clear that the European Parliament and European Commission consider that asking member states to incinerate only non-recyclable material is an achievable aim well within the timescale envisaged for the King’s Lynn incinerator.”
The inquiry in King’s Lynn will hear closing submissions on 16 and 17 May.