Burning issue of incinerator stirs up local opposition
11th October 2010 - the following article is reproduced by kind permission of Lynn News
ALL are agreed – the days of dumping rubbish in the ground must end.
But while the end of landfill sites may be supported by everybody, any suggestion that burning the waste in incinerators that could then be used to provide energy for local homes and industry, is totally rejected by those raging against the proposal to build a waste incinerator at Saddlebow in Lynn.
They are convinced that the plans are the greatest threat ever posed to the area.
Typical of those throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the fight, is Clenchwarton man Richard Burton.
He runs an environmental consultancy firm and has brought his expertise to bear on the subject.
He is robust in his assessment of Norfolk’s case for the waste incinerator.
“Much of the information NCC is distributing is either incorrect, or so out of context as to result in incorrect conclusions being drawn,” he declares.
“Norfolk says modern incinerators stop the formation of cancer-promoting chemicals called dioxins. This is incorrect.
“You only have to look at Environment Agency reports and the large number of breaches to see that dioxins are released by modern incinerators.”
Another of his fears is fine dust particles, which are associated with respiratory diseases.
“Norfolk has said these incinerators only account for one nine-hundredth of UK emissions.
“This is entirely out of context, because nationally there are so few incinerators of this type. Local emissions will be far higher.”
A European law requires reduction of these particles in urban areas, but the incinerator would be located upwind of Lynn.
Mr Burton said Norfolk’s claims regarding additional lorry movements are significantly under-estimated.
He claimed movements would be between 460 and 612 extra journeys a week, depending upon how much waste is delivered.
He said the council should stop suggesting incineration is the only viable alternative to landfill.
Many other counties have scrapped incineration plans, instead opting for sophisticated recycling and composting technologies.
He said these alternatives would help meet government targets, and are also preferable for reducing greenhouse gases.
Mr Burton, who holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Impact Assessment, is furious with the claims made by Norfolk County Council.
He said: “I attended an event in King’s Lynn at which NCC claimed a consultation in 2008 showed public support for incineration. I had read the consultation report, and it showed nothing of the sort.”
“It is critical the public are given the facts about this important issue. For this reason I have asked Norfolk to write to all households and publically retract incorrect, ambiguous and out of context information.
“Norfolk has stated on many occasions that it is committed to a fair and open debate. The way in which they respond to this request is a true test of that commitment.”
Joining Mr Burton in the naysayers’ camp is Stanley Marmont, of Pott Row.
He said he had personal reason to oppose the incinerator, having suffered from industrial disease of the lung and heart.
“I am living proof of the damage that can be done by burning fossil fuels,” the 72-year-old said.
“I was a caretaker who suffered from working in a boilerhouse and it did great damage to my lungs and heart. I had to stop working at 49.
“When I’ve been to public meetings on the issue I have got so angry at the arrogance shown.
“Do we really want King’s Lynn to be a dumping ground for this?”
He said he does not believe that filtration can deal with toxins smaller than pollen.
Mr Marmont is writing to The Queen to enlist her support against the plans – “she lives in Sandringham, after all” – and wants to see a referendum on the subject.
He is pessimistic, though, about whether the proposal – set to be funded by private money in collaboration with Norfolk County Council – will be beaten.
“If you look at the companies backing it, they are all multi-billion pound companies – they are used to fighting these cases and getting their way.”