First on the earth! Summer Gathering Fighting Incineration Workshop
In the summer of 2015, activists fought against the proposed incinerator in the UK and carried out an incredible amount of activity. With a long list of successes, and active and sustained campaigns, opposing incineration seems to be as important as ever.
In light of these struggles, Mariel Vilella (Deputy Director) and Matt Franklin (Communication and Project Officer) from Zero Waste Europe participated in Earth First! Gathered in the Peak District to hold seminars on incineration and the British movement.
During the seminar, a member of GlosVAIN joined them and studied some of the core issues and hazards of waste incineration, as well as the myth of renewable "waste into energy" incineration, and then carefully Study in some of the most active successful and interesting campaigns against the construction of new incinerators in the UK.
British Incinerator Struggle
In our seminar, they did not cover all the anti-incineration campaigns and success stories in the UK, but briefly introduced the extensive campaigns underway. The UK Incineration-Free Network (UKWIN) provides more information about the struggle on its website.
On July 27th, activists in Swancombe, Kent achieved unexpected success when Teal Energy, which proposed a 250,000-ton incinerator per year, suddenly withdrew their application during a planning investigation. After Teal Energy saw that the land they planned to build the incinerator was purchased by the company behind the proposed London Paramount theme park, Teal Energy won to prevent any potential impact on their planned resort. This seemingly unlikely confluence of interests is now forcing the "turning waste into treasure" company to find alternative locations for its projects.
In Gloucestershire, Activists organized by GlosVAIN held a large-scale demonstration in Stroud with hundreds of participants, calling for plans to build an incinerator worth 500 million pounds. The plan signed a contract with the City Council before obtaining planning permission, which means that if the City Council refuses to grant planning permission, the cost will be between £6 and £100 million. Unfortunately, despite the opposition to the plan they approved, the construction of Urbaser Balfour Beatty is expected to begin soon.
In Derby’s recent anti-incineration activist Simon Bacon’s research, it was shown that the Derby City Council had paid more than £725,000 to oppose their own decision! In the document issued by Simon, we can see that the Derby City Council agreed to pay an appeal cost higher than the agreed “appeal contingency” cost in its contract with the developer’s Resource Recovery Solution (RRS), which turned out to be £0.00. This means that the board must pay the entire cost of the RRS appeal, which amounts to £725,943, while paying only £112,255 to defend their decision.
This is just a small part of the anti-incineration campaign across the UK. More active anti-incineration campaigns can be found on the UKWIN website, as well as maps of potential, existing and blocked incinerators across the UK.
For anyone who wants to learn more about the local anti-incineration campaign or to establish their own anti-incineration campaign, you can also take advantage of the wonderful resources available on the UKWIN website.