From Keighley News, 10th August 2017
CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to build a waste-to-energy incinerator in Keighley have welcomed a report which argues against further expansion of the sector. Consultancy Eunomia says a boom in building incinerators could make it impossible for the UK to meet future recycling targets, because companies operating the plants will need waste to ‘feed’ them.
Keighley MP John Grogan, who is backing opponents of the planned complex at Marley, said he would be pressing for further examination of the report in Parliament.
But Endless Energy, the company behind the Keighley scheme, claims the document has no bearing on its planned facility.
Mr Grogan – who was recently elected to the select committee for the environment, food and rural affairs – said: “This important study casts serious doubt on the rationale for any expansion in waste-to-energy plants including the one in Keighley.
“I will be seeking to persuade my colleagues on the committee to hold a hearing to examine its findings and other environmental evidence which is available.”
The Government says considerable progress has been made in increasing recycling rates, but the Eunomia study claims current trends in building incinerators will make a mockery of Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s ambitions to achieve a “green Brexit”.
Since 2009-10, the UK has more than doubled its capacity for burning residual waste – what is left after recycling.
Capacity to burn it has risen from 6.3 million tonnes to 13.5 million tonnes.
However over the same period, the quantity of residual waste has fallen from an estimated 30 million tonnes per annum to 26 million.
So increased numbers of incinerators will be chasing a shrinking mountain of waste, says Eunomia.
Campaign group Aire Valley Against Incineration (AVAI), which is currently raising funds for a Judicial Review as it battles to overturn Bradford Council’s approval of the Marley scheme, also welcomed the report.
Simon Shimbles, chairman of the AVAI steering committee, said: “The findings mirror what we have been saying all along – this has been one of our arguments right from the very outset.
“I’m pleased that this is now being seen as a national issue and I welcome John Grogan’s involvement. John has been a strong supporter of our cause and I am delighted he is taking it up in Parliament.”
But Endless Energy said its 'energy recovery facility' (ERF) would use residual waste which has been through a recycling centre before arriving at the plant.
"No raw waste material will be used at our facility and this ERF will divert several thousand tonnes of waste which would otherwise go to landfill," said a spokesman.
"The facility will work hand-in-hand with Bradford Council’s current recycling regime and generate enough low carbon energy to power the equivalent of up to 20,000 homes."