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Calls to suspend incinerator plans over pollutants


By Ben Comber


Amey waste treatment facility
Amey waste treatment facility

Building an incinerator near a new town in Waterbeach would be “madness”, say campaigners, after a new report claimed some of the pollutants they generate are not being fully disclosed to the public.

Building an incinerator near a new town in Waterbeach would be “madness”, say campaigners, after a new report claimed some of the pollutants they generate are not being fully disclosed to the public.

The report, discussed in the House of Lords last week, claimed incinerators exceed pollution reporting thresholds for particulates, but “due to a loophole” the public is not informed of the emissions.

A national anti-incineration group, UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), launched its report with cross-party support from John Grogan MP (Lab), Philip Davies MP (Con), and Lord Tyler (Lib Dem).

The report says that particulate matter released by English incinerators in 2017 was equivalent to the particulate matter emitted by more than a quarter of a million 40-tonne lorries travelling 75,000 miles a year.

The campaign group is calling for an incinerator tax, simliar to the tax paid on rubbish sent to landfill, as well as accurate systems to measure particulate matter released by incinerators and “proper enforcement”.

A campaigner from Cambridge Without Incineration (CBWIN) said: “Agreeing to [building an incinerator at Waterbeach] without knowing fully if it is needed is madness and that’s without the known information presented at the House of Lords from the environmental agency on emissions leakages and dangers.”

Mr Davies said: “Incinerators are being foisted on local communities right across the country and yet the damage that they cause to the local environment is not fully known.

“There really needs to be a suspension on new incinerators until there is better information available”

Cambridgeshire County Council, the waste planning authority, said: “A copy of the report has been received and it will be considered ahead of a decision being made.”

Amey Cespa has applied for permission to build a £200million energy-from-waste facility near Waterbeach, which it says will divert waste away from landfill.

A petition against the incinerator collected more than 2,200 signatures and, along with objections from residents, caused a planning meeting about the scheme to be delayed – the county council said it needed more time to consider all the responses.



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