York Residents Against Incineration

The Process

The Joint Municipal Waste Strategy for York and North Yorkshire was kicked off in 2002 under the headline “Let’s Talk Rubbish” (though this was later revised to “Let’s Talk Less Rubbish” for obvious reasons).

After working with stakeholder groups for a while, they published a draft plan for consultation in November 2005. The consultation document presented the good citizens of York with two options – an incinerator, or an incinerator with an MBT plant.

The consultation was supposed to be delivered to every household in York and North Yorkshire. However, at least in the City of York, there was widespread reports of the consultation paper being received late or not at all. City of York council officers later acknowledged that this consultation had gone badly and told YRAIN that there would be a further consultation in the process before the waste strategy was devised. This never happened.

It is worth stressing: at no point was the option of not building an incinerator provided to the citizens of North Yorkshire.

And all this despite the fact that the ruling Liberal Democrats in York has been elected in 2003 on a manifesto which included the crystal-cledge pledge “We will oppose proposals to build incinerators“.

From the consultation report:

“Consultation on the draft Strategy considered two options for the treatment of the residual fraction of municipal waste. Either to send all of the waste to Energy from Waste (Incineration) plant/s or to pre-treat the waste first to recover more recyclable materials in an MBT plant, and to produce a fuel for burning in a smaller EfW plant/s. The results of the public consultation on this Strategy did not show a strong preference overall for either option.

Consequently, this Strategy is not specific on the preferred choice of technology although the Partnership expects that in accordance with the BPEO outcomes, residual waste will be treated by a combination of either or both MBT and/or Energy from Waste incineration processes.”

(from the “Let’s Talk Less Rubbish” waste strategy, pg. 21-22)

So, having never given us a real choice of waste strategy, and having failed to consult properly, the Councils indicate how completely willing they are to proceed with their own plans.

And sure enough, we have arrived with the incinerator that they wanted from the start.

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