Following our previous discussion about the incinerator (HERE), I read a superb comment made by Julian Powell during a Facebook discussion about this and (with his permission) here it is:
The County has a new MBT plant at Bishops Cleeve that deals with 40% of the waste due to go to Javelin Park, for about 4% of the cost of the incinerator.
The recycling targets adopted when the incinerator size was first chosen were calculated to deal with about 20% of the waste, but they were ‘conservative’ (sic). Some parts of the County have exceeded them, others are on course to exceed them. That leaves 40% of the waste to deal with if you don’t try to recycle more or MBT more. If they have to burn that waste it could be transported to Avonmouth for about 10% of the cost of Javelin Park.
At Avonmouth a different company is building an incinerator about 4 times the size of Javelin Park. Bristol cannot fill the Avonmouth plant until it reaches the waste estimated to be created in 20 years time or so, and is having to import trade waste (packaging from factories and shops etc) from London to keep it burning efficiently. If an incinerator is not kept at full blast 24/7 it does not burn efficiently and produces increased levels of pollution.
If the County continues with Bishops Cleeve and the current recycling then they will not have enough waste to keep Javelin Park burning.
Under the contract they signed before they got planning permission, they have to pay a penalty to Urbasser Balfour Beatty to buy in waste from elsewhere, or buy in waste directly, to keep Javelin Park burning within it’s emissions licence.
A big problem is that Javelin Park has been sized to burn the waste they anticipate us making in 20 to 25 years time and they do not expect enough to be created to burn until then, and the County will have to get it from somewhere or pay the penalty.
There is a similar problem keeping the new incinerators in Warwickshire and Birmingham fed.
The Government said last year that planning permission had already been given to enough incinerators to deal with all the UK’s waste for the next 25 years.
With incinerators of the Javelin Park old-fashioned design, if everything is burnt at top efficiency they reckon to capture 40% of it as ash which has to be taken to landfill as it is the wrong stuff to make bricks out of cheap enough to make it worthwhile. The other 60% of the burnt waste is thrown up into the air. They calculate that about 30% will go into the high atmosphere and get as far as Norway, the other 30% will rain down on us as very fine ash, but be spread very thinly over a wide area. Roughly like having a motorway of exhaust fumes over your head. The ash cloud is reckoned to get to the far side of Cheltenham or about that far away depending on which way the wind blows.
They claim the ash is sterile and there will be no adverse health impacts. I don’t believe them.
Today I received the following email from 38degrees.org:
Thank you for signing the petition “Come Clean and Show us the Contract” calling for Gloucestershire County Council to reveal the full contract with UBB to build a mass-burn incinerator at Javelin Park.
We were able to present GCC the 3,000 signatures we had gained at the council meeting last Wednesday, where – as you may have heard – the motion to scrap the contract altogether was defeated by a mere 3 votes, meaning that currently the council is still bound to go ahead with the project.
It also became clear at Wednesday’s meeting that not only we but also most of the county councillors themselves were in the dark as to the exact contents of the contract. This is an unacceptable situation in any event, but nothing short of astonishing in the light of the sheer scale of this publicly funded project.
If we can reach 5,000 signatures, we will trigger a debate in the council on the subject, and this could be an opportunity to flush out what is really going on.
Now would be a great time to do this, as the go-ahead on the incinerator is being delayed by a judicial review (initiated by Stroud District Council) on the planning decision.
If you haven’t signed the petition yet, you’ll find it HERE.