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More UK support for incineration, says MEP

More Government support should be given to incineration, according to conservative MEP for South west England and former European Parliament environment committee chairwoman Caroline Jackson.

In a newly published pamphlet by Jackson entitled Britains Waste: the lessons we can learn from Europe, she criticises the Government for providing little or no effort to tell the public about alternative waste treatments, leaving its negative opinion of energy from waste informed by green fundamentalists. She added: The Governments failure publicly to identify strongly energy from waste as a safe and effective alternative option has left those local authorities that have pursued this option to plough a lonely and unpopular furrow.

Blaming the Governments remarkably laidback approach to adopting the EU Landfill directive and putting in place the policies needed for the UK to comply with it, she said the result was that waste authorities were now opting for large incinerators, meaning bigger contracts, prolonged planning enquiries, increased waste miles, public opposition and traffic generation.

As a result, Jackson said the UK was failing to exploit lessons from continental Europe such as Denmark where small-scale energy from waste plants typically process 50-60,000 tonnes of mixed residual waste a year, in a country that incinerates 53% of its municipal waste.

Arguing that experience from the continent shows recycling and incineration can exist successfully side by side, Jackson challenged those who still opposed energy from waste plants after they have been approved through the planning process to explain how they would meet targets for waste reduction by alternative means.

As a case in point she refers to Cory Environmentals energy from waste plant in Belvedere, which took 14 years of planning and public enquiry to finally get Government go-ahead. Yet the Mayor of London and Bexley Council, without giving any clear idea of what their alternative is, still want a judicial review of the decision, leading to possible further delay, she said.

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