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25 February 2009
The Liberal Democrats took control of Bristol City Council on Tuesday, after their budget amendment was passed, calling for an end to any more spending on plans to build an incinerator. The budget amendment read: \"No incinerator: suspend any spending on phase 3 of waste procurement, with the aim of reaching consensus on phase 3 across all four authorities\" For more news reports see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7912444.stm

14th August 2008


From Kent Online


Kent County Council could be losing £1m a year as a result of a long-term waste disposal contract.

Ten years ago, the authority signed a 25-year deal with Kent Enviropower to provide them with 320,000 tonnes of waste to burn each year.

But what was initially seen as a cash-saving opportunity has quickly turned into a money pit, as the council is forced to send increasingly valuable recyclable material to the incinerator in order to meet its annual quota.

Although it was signed in 1998, the contract only came into effect recently as it took nearly ten years to apply for planning permission and building the incinerator, which has been dogged by controversy itself due to high levels of flies and foul odours.

Read more at:


11th August 2008


From the Times Online

Householders are missing a chance to share in the results of huge profits generated by the soaring value of recyclable domestic rubbish, The Times has learnt.

The price of recyclable plastic, newspaper and cardboard has doubled in 18 months, giving councils a source of “green gold” that could be spent on improving local services. Many are locked into 20 to 30-year contracts with recycling companies and are unable to cash in on the higher cost of plastic and copper.

Read more at:



22nd July 2008


New UK map downloadable from www.ukwin.org.uk/map 

Friends of the Earth today launched a map of proposed rubbish-burning sites across the UK revealing that South West England is threatened by the prospect of at least 5 polluting incinerators, despite opposition to incineration across the region.

The map, published by a network of anti-incineration campaigners, shows the whereabouts of over 100 proposed incinerators across the country that would each cost many millions of pounds, burn thousands of tonnes of valuable resources and emit huge quantities of greenhouse gases. Ministers have pledged more than £2 billion for these initiatives despite cutting recycling budgets by 30 per cent.

Councils claim they need to build incinerators in order to meet UK and EU targets, but campaigners believe there are greener and cheaper ways of meeting waste targets.

Mike Birkin, Friends of the Earth South West Regional Campaigner said,

“Local Authorities risk getting their fingers burned if they sign up for long term contracts for this out-dated, polluting and wasteful technology – and local taxpayers will end up footing the bill.”

“These proposed incinerators will hamper the growth of recycling, which is hugely popular across the region.

“Councillors must think again and scrap these proposals.” 

Shlomo Dowen, Co-ordinator of the UK Without Incineration Network, said:

“UK WIN helps anti-incineration campaigners across the country to keep their communities incinerator-free.

“People who are concerned about incineration should check the map to see if anything is proposed in their neighbourhood, then follow the links provided to link up with other local campaigners.”



1.    The Government has offered councils £2 billion in Private Finance Initiative credits to pay part of the costs of new waste management facilities, and many councils are planning to use this money to build new incinerators. Incinerators producing electricity from waste emit 33% more fossil fuel derived CO2 than a gas fired power station. At the same time, the Government has cut the funds available for promotion of recycling by 30 per cent. ‘WRAP ordered to cut spending by 30%’, Lets Recycle, 21st Feb. 2008


2.    UK WIN research indicates that in addition to the 23 existing incinerators, 150 locations are currently under examination, in order to build around 80 new facilities. For details of how the UKWIN map was constructed see http://www.ukwin.org.uk/map/#Disclaimer (pre –embargo access: username: maptester,password: 1map2test)

3.    For more information on the climate impacts of incineration see ‘Dirty Truths’, Friends of the Earth briefing, May 2007. View online athttp://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/dirty_truths.pdf

4.    Friends of the Earth’s general briefing on incineration, Up in Smoke: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/media_briefing/up_in_smoke.pdf

5.    A more detailed analysis of the climate change implications of incineration is available in this report for the Greater London Assembly:

6.    “Greenhouse gas balances of waste management scenarios”, Eunomia Consulting, 2008.


7.    The UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) is the umbrella organisation for anti-incineration campaign groups throughout the UK, boasting a growing membership of more than 50.

8.    UKWIN National Coordinator Shlomo Dowen can be contacted by telephone on (01623) 640134 or by e-mail message tocoordinator@ukwin.org.uk

9.    UKWIN opposes the incineration of household waste for many reasons - see http://www.ukwin.org.uk/story for a summary.

10.  A brief case study of a recent successful anti-incineration campaign in Nottinghamshire is available from http://www.ukwin.org.uk/notts

11.  For information on how to meet Government waste targets without incineration see ‘Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme’, Friends of the Earth briefing, September 2007,


12.  For further information about Friends of the Earth, visit www.foe.co.uk .

18 March 2008
From Hansard:

Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk, Conservative)

The hon. Gentleman is making a superb speech, and I congratulate him on having one of the six houses in the entire kingdom that achieve the target of total energy-efficiency.

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that anaerobic digester technology is far preferable to the straightforward incinerators that many local authorities throughout the country are hoping to build?

Alan Simpson (Nottingham South, Labour)

I do agree, and I ought to say that I was the chair of a waste disposal company in Nottinghamshire that was responsible for the incinerator we have in Nottingham. At the time, we dramatically raised standards in filtering and emissions. I look back at that and think it was a half-good idea for the second half of the last century, but it is a hopeless idea for the beginning of this century. We ought not to be wasting a moment in going down that path now, when the true visionary steps take us outside such conventional boxes and into a different framework of thinking about, and delivering, sustainable energy from our own waste.

I have a confession to make. Over just this past week I have come to realise that I have become a Brownite. My political conversion is to the beliefs of, unfortunately, Lester Brown, whose book, "Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble", sets out how we can transform our economy to deliver 80 per cent. carbon reductions by 2020. Achieving that, however, requires us to give industry the responsibility of being, and the incentive to become, the driver of its own transformation.


14 March 2008

Press release from Anna Watson, National Friends of the Earth:

Bristol agrees composting contract as major PFI bid begins

Bristol city council has awarded a 20-year contract to Dorset firm New Earth Solutions to build and operate a new in-vessel composting plant for the city.

The award was made today (March 14), two days after councillors from Bristol together with South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset councils agreed on a plan to seek PFI support for major new waste treatment facilities in the area.

New Earth Solutions already treats Bristol food waste at its existing facility in Dorset

However, Bath & North East Somerset is opting out of part of the Strategy, which could involve the construction of an energy-from-waste incinerator.

New Earth will build a facility capable of processing 30,000 tonnes a year of food waste, green waste and cardboard, at a site five miles from Bristol at Willow Farm, Severnside.

It is anticipated that the plant would be open by January 2010.

Bristol city council, which is already running weekly food waste collections across the city, has decided to stop sending the material more than 100 miles for treatment to New Earth Solutions' home base near Poole in Dorset.

The company has won an open competition to develop a more local plant to mechanically mix and aerate the organic material and use the composted product as a soil improver in agriculture or horticulture. The new facility is expected to seek accreditation under the PAS 100 standard for producing compost.

Peter Mills, commercial director for New Earth Solutions, said: "As far as New Earth is concerend it means our advanced composting systems have been recognised. And, as we have been working with Bristol for last 18 months as part of an interim contract, we are delighted to deliver a bedspoke facility for them, the city of Bristol itself."

Food waste collections have already helped to double Bristol's recycling rates to 37%. The city council is now keen to widen the collections to households on estates and to flats.

Councillor Mark Bradshaw, executive member for access and environment, explained that introducing kerbside food waste collections had been a "first step", requiring material to be taken to Dorset initially. "A number of people kept asking me why the waste has to be sent all the way to Dorset to be processed and this is why we decided to try and set up a plant closer to where the waste was being produced," he said.

"For us this major contract is good news for Bristol and a vote of confidence in the massive weekly contributions which the residents are making in using the brown bin system.We hope that we can further improve levels of recycling both working within our own boundary and increasingly working with neighbouring authorities," Cllr Bradshaw told letsrecycle.com.

New Earth's contract win came a week after waste firm SITA withdrew a bid to build a similar-scale in-vessel plant on a green-belt site at Westerleigh, next to the M4.

"I remain of the view that the proposal to build a mass burn incinerator will be the worst environmental solution, and act as a disincentive to recycle."

Cllr Charlie Bolton

Meanwhile, the four authorities within the West of England Waste Management and Planning Partnership agreed on a new Joint Residual Municipal Waste Management Strategy at a meeting on Wednesday.

Developed by the authorities since October 2005, the document entitled "Rubbish or Resource?" lays out how 330,000 tonnes a year of residual waste should be managed within the local area.

The Strategy includes four "phases" starting with a continuation of existing recycling and waste minismisation efforts.

Phase Two would see the procurement of an "interim" treatment contract of at least five years in length, using mechanical biological treatment or autoclaving to divert between 100,000 and 150,000 tonnes a year. The contract would be offered to the waste market later in 2008, to start around 2010/11.

Phase Three would then see a longer-term contract, likely 25 years in length, to divert a further 160,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill from 2015. Energy-from-waste has been nominated as a "reference" technology for the contract in order to attract PFI credits, but the Partnership has said waste management companies would be free to propose alternative technologies.

The Partnership is submitting its expression of interest to Defra by the end of March 2008, and if successful will then have to outline a more detailed business plan. Should Defra then award PFI credits, a formal procurement process could then begin for a contract from 2011.

A final "phase four" could then be used to deal with any remaining residual waste, using "the lessons learned from previous Phases to continue to meet targets" beyond 2020.

The four authorities have been told that indicative costs of diverting 340,000 tonnes of waste from landfill over a 28-year period would be in the region of £1.67 billion for an MBT contract and £1.26 billion for an energy-from-waste contract. This would compare to a £2.1 billion cost of continuing to use landfill.

The Strategy accepts that energy-from-waste is a "contentious" issue, but argued that it is "proven", which is why the process is being recommended for the phase three contract. A technical appraisal graded it second highest after gasification, but the Strategy discounted gasification on the grounds that has not been demonstrated yet in the UK for a project of similar scale.

Bath and North East Somerset has withdrawn from phase three of the waste strategy as a result of energy-from-waste being recommended.

A statement from Friends of the Earth read to the meeting stated opposition to the project, and also asked why the authorities were not down-scaling the phase three project to take account of Bath and North Somerset withdrawing.

The group wants to see MBT used instead of incineration.

Green Party councillor Charlie Bolton also issued a statement to the meeting, outlining concerns about both energy from waste and the PFI funding process.

Cllr Bolton said: "PFI is likely to be highly inappropriate when in such a fast changing world as that of recycling and waste disposal clearly is. It will be extremely difficult and costly to set a contract which retains the flexibility to deal with changes in technology, recycling rates, legislation and peoples attitudes towards waste that we are seeing at this time.

"I remain of the view that the proposal to build a mass burn incinerator will be the worst environmental solution, and act as a disincentive to recycle. It defies the outcome of the consultation for small scale local solutions. It will likely be located in an area of relative social deprivation," he said.

BAMBI Site Launched
The BAMBI Network has launched their own website that allows local Bristol residents to help campaign against the proposed incinerator. Help join the campaign by going to the What Can You Do? page.
Watch this space

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