Green Party in England & Wales
Greens condemn government support for incineration
Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor has responded angrily to a report that the government is to increase incineration. A draft consultation document to be published by the Department of the Environment next month, suggests the proportion of waste burned could increase from nine per cent to 25 per cent in the next 15 years. This reinforces figures uncovered by Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson which show that the amount of rubbish burnt in and around London could double in the next decade with a new generation of incinerators encircling the capital.
Keith Taylor said: "The government's claims of moving us toward sustainability are shown to be false by this increase in waste burning. Not only does incineration add to pollution and carbon emissions, it also keeps up the demand side for consumables such as food packaging. The solution to our unsustainable waste mountains has to be based on waste reduction, re-use and recycle, and not burn baby burn.
A report by the Green Party members of the London Assembly, called Ring of Fire, shows that more London waste is burnt than recycled and the amount will increase with the new system of financial penalties and rewards brought in by the government. Incinerators already exist in Lewisham and Edmonton and new ones are planned for Belvedere, Slough and Maidstone.
Darren Johnson AM said: "More incineration means less recycling. It means wasting valuable resources and imposing a health risk on the communities down wind of the incinerators. The government should take recycling and waste reduction seriously, which means saying no to Belvedere and all the other proposed incinerators around London.
"This should start by ending the subsidies for incineration. It is a stupid way to use a valuable, natural resource. It harms the environment, blights the surrounding community and could well have a negative impact on people's health. Local authorities should be investing in state of the art recycling facilities, rather than filling in holes and burning up our natural resources."