York Residents Against Incineration

Despite the setback of £65 million of funding from DEFRA being withdrawn from the project due to it being seen as unnecessary, York and North Yorkshire councillors are now being urged to approve the plan in their respective meetings this week. The council officials claim to have conducted a thorough cost benefit and environmental analysis, upon which they base their recommendation. The analysis apparently proves that the £1.4billion plan to burn 320,000 tonnes annually of non-recycled household and some commercial waste for the next 25 years, or more, is the most effective way of dealing with it.

Their reasoning seems to be based on the misguided belief that economic recovery and population growth will inevitably result in continual increases in waste volumes. In the graphs shown to Councillors they elect to show projections of increasing waste volumes (yes, again) without any context showing the last decade of rapidly reducing waste volumes and rise in recycling rates.  As Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough and fellow campaigner says: “Recycling is increasing; waste going to landfill is decreasing – we are going in the right direction. Burning our waste is the wrong call.”

If the councillors approve the plan this week, they will be locking us into an expensive 25-year contract paid for through our taxes. If the projections are proven wrong, as they have been so far, the expected savings may turn into penalties for not producing the minimum required tonnage. Either way, at the end of this £1.4 billion experiment we will have an outdated mammoth plant spewing out greenhouse gases on the outskirts of York, and we will be further away from achieving zero waste. An approval will be a hapless attempt at managing a problem which needs to be sorted and eliminated instead.



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