Wyre Forest residents protest construction of local incinerator
As people become increasingly aware of climate change and its causes and effects, largely thanks to climate activists such as Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough, it seems a mistake to build yet another local incinerator. This is why ‘Wyre Forest Against Incineration’ is campaigning to stop the proposed new incinerator from being built.
The proposed ‘Energy Park’ on which the incinerator will sit is due to be built in Wyre Forest on Stourport Road, Kidderminster, at the same site of the Lawrence Recycling Plant fire that took place in 2013. The proposed site means that a large part of the district will feel the impact of the dioxins produced by the incinerator. The so-called energy plant is being promoted by the company behind its construction as an environmentally safe way to dispose of waste and process plastic. However, it is anything but.
There are a number of reasons why ‘Wyre Forest Against Incineration’ is against its construction, including those linked to concerns regarding the environment, traffic congestion, and public health. In addition, there is no immediate need for a new incinerator when there is already a large one in Hartlebury that is sufficient to dispose of the majority of Worcestershire and Herefordshire’s waste.
However, those reading the article shouldn’t see this as a ‘not in my back yard’ protests from residents. All communities should have concerns about an incinerator being built anywhere in the UK, due to the numerous issues that they bring. This is especially the case with climate change playing an increasingly important role in mainstream politics. All of this is made more ironic when you consider that the Wyre Forest District Council declared a climate emergency back in May of 2019.
The environmental impacts are staggering. For every tonne of waste burned in the incinerator, an additional tonne of CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. This means that in terms of environmental impact, our waste would actually be better off being sent to landfill. A modern incinerator is estimated to release 1.6 million tonnes more CO2 than sending the equivalent waste to a landfill. With increased CO2 in the environment, we will see the exacerbation of global warming which will lead to further climate disasters around the world. Moreover, the World Health Organisation has confirmed that the dioxins released from incinerators increase the risk of cancer.
Various studies have shown that councils who have incinerators need to burn a certain amount of waste due to the long-term contracts they enter into, meaning that less waste is recycled. Incinerators simply perpetuate the problems of climate change and fail to encourage green alternatives or waste reduction, which should be our aims.
The proposed energy plant, including the incinerator, will also increase congestion with the delivery of plastic and other waste arriving on heavy lorries 24/7 for processing on an already busy road. Concerns have been raised that this could cause further traffic congestion in and out of Stourport and Kidderminster. The incinerator will also produce bottom and fly ash of some 30% of the original waste weight that will need disposing of—creating more additional heavy lorry traffic to exit the plant.
All in all, this energy plant and incinerator is not a good deal for Wyre Forest, and will only bring countless environmental and health issues for residents. It needs stopping.
If you’re concerned by this, you can help:
There are a few things that you can do to get involved and they are listed below.
However, with a deadline of the 29th October to object, action is needed now.
- Send your objection using Planning Application number20/000034/CM to;
o Development Control Manager, Worcestershire County Council, Directorate of Economy and Infrastructure, County Hall, WR5 2NP
- If you live in the constituency, email your district and county councillors
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in the campaign