Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Exploding the incinerator!

The Full Council meeting on the 9th September will be debating the proposed mass-burn incinerator which is destined for Avonmouth to serve the former Avon area (except that Bath have already said where to stick it!).

The plans come from the Tory-dominated West Of England Partnership, but are backed whole-heartedly by Bristol's Labour administration. The Lib Dems are opposing the plans, along with pretty much all of the local environmental organisations who have formed the BAMBI partnership - Bristol Against Mass-Burn Incineration.

The issue has come to Full Council after the Tories had an eleventh hour U-turn and decided to back the Lib Dem 'call in' of the decision. (For those not steeped in Council jargon, any major decision can be 'called in' by the other parties and it then has to be looked at again in public). This was welcome, but slightly baffling as the incinerator has the backing of the Tories in the surrounding authorities and until recently the Bristol Tories were the biggest enthusiasts. Maybe they're getting hot feet... 8-)

A recent press article talks about how the incinerator built in Kent is going exactly the way we think the Bristol one would do. Interestingly, Kent County Council is Tory-controlled and they are now referring to their decision to build a mass-burn incinerator as "stupid in hindsight" and losing them £1m a year in recyclable materials which are having to be burnt. Why can't Bristol Labour see that it is "stupid" now!?

Needless to say, I will be voting AGAINST the incinerator next week. It's a huge potential environmental disaster waiting to happen. It would create toxic ash, reduce incentives for waste minimisation, pervert the recycling system and put more lorries on the road pumping out pollution. See the BAMBI website for information about the alternatives, including pyrolysis which is being used now in various places in the world, with the next generation of plants being developed HERE IN BRISTOL!

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