PRESS RELEASE: 13th July 2008 by jPw515q

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									PRESS RELEASE: 13th July 2008
Colchester & NE Essex Friends of the Earth
01206/383123

Photo op, County Hall steps, 10am Tuesday 15th July: Conservatives break
their 'no incinerator' pledges - we call for a referendum as promised by Lord
Hanningfield. 25,500 Essex people objected to incineration in the Waste
Plan. 76% respondents objected to all six MBT and incineration options in the
War on Waste consultation in 2002.
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PFI BID TO BE AGREED FOR TWO MASSIVE MBT PLANTS AT BASILDON
AND RIVENHALL TO MAKE FUEL PELLETS FOR A 200,000 TONNE P.A.
INCINERATOR, HUGELY INCREASING CLIMATE CHANGE GASES AND
POLLUTION FOR 30 YEARS!
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Tuesday's ECC full council meeting is to agree a bid to Govt for PFI finance
for two massive MBT waste-crushing plants at Basildon and Rivenhall. These
make polluting fuel pellets to burn in a 200,000 tonnes p.a. incinerator,
possibly at Rivenhall, but it could be at Sandon, Basildon or Stanway. ECC
has already agreed to a third MBT plant at Stanway.

The Government requires waste PFI bids to have the support of all the
councils and for it to have 'broad public support'. However, Colchester
council's new LibDem/Labour/Ind coalition has now opposed the bid for PFI
finance and has objected to the waste strategy.
Basildon council did not sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
required last year.

The bid includes a costly central 'MRF' to sort mixed compacted recyclables
collected in wheelie bins, with area collection contracts run by a private
contractor. Chelmsford council objected to this as they have their own
kerbside collections and have invested in their baling centre. They amended
their MoU last year to object to this.

Chelmsford council's leader, Cllr Whitehead, has recently also set out their
objection to incineration at a Cabinet meeting on 3rd June and to the huge
costs to councils and council taxpayers (various Chronicle articles including
this week's edition p.4).

Colchester has objected to the misleading and simplistic recent public waste
consultation which was designed to persuade people to support MBT
(Mechanical Biological Treatment) plants and 'using the fuel for energy',
without being told the huge tonnages, 28.5 year contracts, hundreds of HGVs
daily and that it would be burnt in an incinerator.

The outline of the bid was set out in the West Essex Waste Management Joint
Committee agenda last Wednesday at County Hall. It is also set out in the
Thames Gateway Joint Committee agenda this Wednesday at Southend
council and in the East Essex committee on Thursday at County Hall.

Councillors were told last Wednesday that, contrary to previous assumptions
that waste would grow at 3% per year, increasing tonnages to double current
total municipal waste, in fact it had only grown at an average of 0.7% p.a. over
the past nine years and is predicted to only grow at 0.3% p.a. from 2010 till
2015 and nil growth from then.

They said total waste including Southend would be 860,000 tonnes p.a. by
2038. Yet ECC have agreed 510,000 tonnes p.a. at Rivenhall, 300,000
tonnes p.a. at Stanway and plan 565,000 tonnes p.a. at Basildon - a total of
1,375,000 tonnes p.a. - almost double!

In 2007/8 Essex recycled 38% compared to Cambridge recycling 48% the
previous year. Eight UK councils were recycling between 50% and 55%.
This year Uttlesford recycled 54%. In 2002 the Mersea trial reached 60%.
Flanders recycles 71%. Wales and Scotland are aiming at 75% recycling.

Paula Whitney, Waste Co-ordinator for Essex Friends of the Earth said:

"Colchester and Chelmsford councils say we should invest in recycling and
composting plants with flexible short term contracts - instead of giving 28.5
year contracts to waste disposal companies at huge costs to council tax
payers.

The PFI bid 28.5 year contracts will destroy half of our valuable resources for
30 years by shredding and drying 'black bag' waste in massive MBT plants
producing fuel pellets, with hundreds of HGVs daily. The pellets will be burnt
in a polluting incinerator, increasing climate change gases, toxic pollution and
creating toxic ash. Far more energy is saved by recycling and composting
than burning materials to produce a small amount of energy.

We can easily comply with the Landfill Directive statutory requirements to
reduce biodegradable waste being sent to landfill by two-thirds by 2020.
Biodegradable waste is mainly garden waste, paper, card and foodwaste.
This can be collected for recycling and composting, saving climate change
gases and providing valuable clean compost for our Essex soils. The
Government strongly supports separate food waste collections."

ENDS

								
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