Email to North Lanarkshire Councillors, 24.February 2010 - Return to main Carnbroe campaign page
Sloppy report approves pyrolysis plant
I am deeply concerned to see that North Lanarkshire’s planning officers have recommended approval of a waste pyrolysis plant at Carnbroe, despite unanimous rejection by the local community.
Acceptance would be a freakish decision
In the past six months no less than 4 local authorities in Scotland have rejected proposals for municipal waste burners – in Invergordon, Dunbar, Perth and Peterhead. In each case Councillors have seen through promises about safety.
False claims about pyrolysis ‘technology
Claims that pyrolysis is a safe alternative to incineration are completely false. Several recent reports show that levels of dioxins and furans, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter can be as high, and in some cases higher than those from conventional incineration plants – click here for links to relevant reports.
Infant mortality and the Precautionary Principle
The Precautionary Principle is one of the 5 principles that planning authorities must consider when making decisions over waste management facilities – NPPG10. Empirical evidence consistently shows that infant mortality (death below one year) is consistently higher downwind of incinerators. Of course it is difficult to prove a relationship, but nor have scientists been able to disprove such a link. This is why the Precautionary Principle must be applied. The following map of Coventry provided by Michael Ryan provides an example:
The insane cost of pyrolysis and other forms of waste burning
Figures from WRAP, the UK Government’s waste advisory service, show that burning waste is far more expensive than any other form of waste treatment, costing up to £141 per tonne.
Burning undermines recycling
Burning waste undermines recycling. Dumfries and Galloway Council has instructed householders not to bother separating their waste. It all now goes to a sorting plant where plastic and paper is turned into fuel stock for the new gasifier in Dumfries. This is a grotesque waste of resources. Friends of the Earth have calculated that recycling saves 4 times as much energy as can be recovered from burning it.
The Council should follow the European Waste Hierarchy, which says that we should reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible before burning it. South Oxfordshire District Council is already achieving 71% recycling and composting without burning anything. Over the next few years this could rise considerably, as more and more types of material become recyclable. Furthermore, nationally the amount of municipal waste is falling – one of the main reasons why local authorities the length and breadth of the UK have rejected all forms of waste burning.