Demonstrators fear incinerator in Gloucestershire

Filed in Blog by on February 18, 2009 71 Comments
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gas_mask for incineratorMy thanks go to Poppy for bringing my attention to this BBC news video called “Demonstrators fear incinerator“.

As some of you might be aware, our local council have bought a huge piece of land at Javelin Park for £7.4million pounds. It was bought during zero waste week! While some of us were merrily on our way trying to reduce our waste, and getting our stories on a half page spread on about page twelve, this story filled the front page of our newspapers.

No one has said what this land will be used for, but the fear among local residents is that a massive incinerator will be built there.

Although 80 per cent of local residents are against incineration, only 1500 households out of 250,000 signed up for the zero waste week challenge. That, by my reckoning is 0.6 per cent.
Did the other 99.4% not know about zero waste week, or did they not bother? Mr Green and I believe that if more of us work together and show what CAN be done, there will be no need for an incinerator at all.

If you want to do something a little pro-active; why not print off this pdf by Friends of the Earth? It’s a petition against an incinerator at Javelin Park.

On this page, there are some links to interesting articles about incineration, recycling and food waste. Mr Green also wrote an article on his views on incineration, which you can read here.

What do you think? Is incineration the answer or is there a better way to deal with our rubbish?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (71)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Mrs Green,

    When the incineration issue arrives locally, it certainly is a wake-up call. The councillor mentioned alternatives eg gasification. These alternatives should be fully investigated. Disinformation is often used to sow confusion so everyone should be extra vigilant.

  2. This seems another example where it’s often too easy to look at solutions instead of preventative measures. Zero Waste needs to have a much wider promotion first before the country goes down this route. The sad matter is Zero Waste communications are still in their infancy and it takes longer than a year or two to bring serious change.

  3. Fr. Peter says:

    It is ironic that the majority of the public do not want incineration or landfill (the latter is running out) but will not make the effort to recycle. They need to realise that they can’t have it both ways.

  4. Sarah says:

    “Did the other 99.4% not know about zero waste week, or did they not bother? ”

    Or perhaps they didn’t sign up because it was too huge a challenge but they took some action privately? I’d hesitate to go for total zero waste because of a fear of failure but I’m working on waste minimisation all the time. My big downfall is other people – mainly around birthdays and Xmas – who give us stuff with excessive packaging “because it looks good”

  5. Katy says:

    I’m with Fr. Peter – when people can say they have made a real effort to reduce their waste, THEN they can protest against incinerators, landfills, recycling plants and all the other waste infrastructure we still need. Otherwise, they are part of the problem.

  6. Mrs Jackson says:

    I feel that the title “zero waste” put off a lot of people because they simply believe that they could not achieve it so did not try. That and there was absolutely minimal promotion of it. Until our council starts recycling plastics, cardboard and food waste at the door then a lot of people will continue to say it is impossible for them for one reason or another.

  7. Poppy says:

    Sadly it’s part of a wider issue of wanting everything provided absolutely where the individual thinks they need it. Strange how this gets a back lash now and then with cries of ‘Nanny state’!

    Politicians are doomed whichever way they play it!

  8. John Costigane says:

    @Mrs Jackson: Mra Jackson, I absolutely agree. We have imperfect council recycling, supermarket clueless packaging and a wait-and-see government.

    What do we have of value? Zero Wasters/enthusiasts and waste reducers who are leading the charge. This has been the case since I started. The numbers are low but we just have to keep doing the right things and grow the trend into a big item.

  9. Fr. Peter says:

    The problem with ‘imperfect council recycling’ is that councils do not have the money to do more than they can, and when they do their best they are condemed for not doing more.

    There was an article in a national daily recently that told of how councils were dumping glass that local residents had placed in the recycling facilities.

    I checked this out and found that a local resident had put broken Pyrex in with the glass they recycled, ignoring the instructions on the container. The glass had gone to be recycled but in the heat treating process the Pyrex had contaminated and ruined the batch and the company had to landfill it. Naturally there was no correction from the paper, as the headline ‘Local Council Landfills Sorted Glass’ sells more copies than ‘Member of Public Ruins Recycling Scheme’.

    Government Council Grants enable councils be financed, the Community Charge (rates) are just a top up, but the Government grants are not even. Here in Wealden (Conservative) we get just over £50 per person, next door Hastings (Labour) gets almost double!

    There are many environmentalists in local councils who are doing as much as possible under the financial conditions, but the root cause of the problem is the belief of the general public that “they” will have to do something. “They” being, naturally, someone else.

  10. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Good wake up Blog Mrs Green

    “You will get an incinerator”!

    Well if you start from this probability premise, and the above joint ambition of GCC waste officers (EfW business case) and the eventual EfWincinerator company (I can list them in my sleep Veolia, Viridor, Sita, FCC/WRG, Covanta and now Shanks) you will understand how little choice or preference you have in the technology used and now know what you are up against at Javellin Park. All your objections will be called “Myths” or “Naive” by incinerator PR consultants like Enviros or RPS; and like unruly infants you will be managed, listened to and still have to take the incinerator pill. That is the way in the stealthy EfW/CHPIncinerator world. Its about big money, big long term contracts; truth, local people, democracy, better solutions/ technology and planning are all steamrollered or PR Greenwashed/ PooPooed in the process. You will not be treated like intelligent folk, just irritations in the way of a grand PFI grand scheme

    1) organise against it, early, its coming for shore
    2) look at the local Minerals/Waste plan
    3) look at which companies are being soft marketed/shortlisted (see my list above).
    Understand these companies are not interested in your ZW philosphies (locals might not understand it either, they’ve just about got their heads around recycling)and are investing in Energy Recovery via the most reliable technology in their eyes. So you might have to play it smarter than ZW mantras and righteous example (however worthy and valuable).
    4) lobby your Councillors (especially cabinet), Waste Officers, MPs, informed letters to press, constant emails to officers/councillors, online petitions from locals/campaigners, make it big. Go to all council meetings and work on District/City councillors to support your campaign/ sign your petition. Ask inconvenient relevant scrutiny Public Written Questions /at council, every person has a turn each month. Food waste/AD action, comprehensive recycling, core waste strategy scrutiny. Supportive Cllrs to put anti incineration motions down, like in Norwich.
    5) get in the media about it, talk to editors about joint campaigns
    6) join UKWIN and research everything you can, its hugely complicated. Know just as much as your waste officers about wrate, bid procurement models and other black box workings. Contact Shlomo, get Javellin Park painted on the UKWIN potential interactive burner map.
    7) be pragmatic in alternative solutions, FoE have good stuff promoting Zero Waste, but look wider at Anaerobic Digestion, Mechanical Biological Treatments (with AD is considered best), autoclaving and small Gasplasma/Plasma Gasification for the last 10-15%. Look at BAT technology for different waste streams, ie food, plastics, mixed, RDF
    8) Invite an expert to speak at public meeting, Paul Connett, Dick van Steenis, Vyv Howard to discuss emissions- especially PM2.5s/ CO2 levels, IBA/fly ash, dioxins, energy inefficiencies
    9) Every incinerator has a critical achilles heal; look for it.
    10) Stall the EfWIncinerator proposal as long as possible – a raft better solutions/technologies are on their way!

    Good luck, we all need it.

    Rob Whittle
    Vice Chair

  11. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Oh; and look through our campaign blog. We beat WRG in a 2 year battle, have put up tonnes of useful research/ media clips/ links. Every campaign is different, but there might be something useful on it. Some of the media clips are good.

    Rob Whittle
    Vice Chair

  12. Mrs Jackson says:

    @Fr. Peter: Sorry for being ignorant but couldn’t some of the money spent on the incinerator have gone towards better recycling instead? It’s a shame that most things in this world come down to money.

  13. Poppy says:

    @Fr. Peter:

    Sadly there are a lot of people who consider that putting ‘similar’ items in is okay and / or do it as a protest at lack of appropriate facilities. There is a “that’ll teach ’em” mentality about it, whereas they are actually causing more problems than they are solving and the companies and councils involved are more likely to withdraw facilities if they are not used properly.

  14. Fr. Peter says:

    Mr’s J,

    If only one tenth of the money that has suddenly been found to support the ailing banks could have been spent on recycling facilities!

    As someone who is a member the Parish Council and who’s wife is the (elected) leader of the District Council, The Government have told us that there is little extra money available for recycling and that we will have finance initiatives by making savings in our own backyard.

    We have an incinerator being built just over our boarder in nearby Newhaven, but when it is up and running it will mainly take London’s rubbish as the UK is fast running out of landfill. It is being financed by the Governments Private Finance Initiative and it would be interesting to search out the source of the funding stream for javelin Park.

  15. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    I agree with the above sentiments

    Recycling has both easy and complex issues.

    Potentially we could easily recycle/compost 75%

    Legally GCC do not have to recycle more than 50% by 2020. They are aiming at 60% by 2020. A long bedtime read read is your own Outline Business Case 2008 & Core Strategy 2006, by reputable consultants Euonomia.

    GCC is thus still planning a residual safety net for the 40% of MSW it doesn’t have to recycle/compost. Then there is the £92m PFI credit award/carrot for keeping residual capacity at a set level. “””The worst case Scenario is a 175,000Tonnes/yr size Silver Dome CHP Incinerator at Javellin Park. 10-12 storeys/75-80m chimney.””” Other technology combinations might be MBT/AD, AD, gasification, advanced thermal technologies (plasmagas/gasplasma =BAT for thermal)

    Most of the answers will be challenging GCC on its 60% recycling/compost ambitions and its

    Three areas I spotted in the strategy that may be challenged.

    1) GCC have used a 1.6%pa future waste growth figure based on predicted population growth, everything else been equal. Defra now advise this should now be downgraded to 1.1%pa and GCC seem to have gone for 1.1%pa waste growth in their Outline Business Case. However, figures for many WDA’s over the last 3-5 years have stagnated/decreased by 0.5%pa and with sub 500Kg/head minimisation schemes. Here’s a first challenge to GCC; and residual figures. Worth checking

    2)Defra have just announced a major food waste /Anaerobic Digestion policy/partnership drive with 20 commercial organisations. Trails have collected 105Kg/household/yr; and this equates to about 15%-20% of residual waste in its 2006 strategy/projections(both municipal/trade)not considered by GCC.

    Shared Goals; OBC outlines an IVC provision (not better CHP/AD technology)to divert 20,000-30,000Tpa of food waste from landfill. However it does not state whether this eats into the 175,000Tpa residual figure, or is part of calculating the 175,000Tpa figure (net). The OBC looks at food waste collections at 105Kg per household /251,000 households (26,000Tpa capacity) which sounds right for 2007.

    WRAP are doing good work nibbling away at food, packaging, batteries and electronics

  16. Mr. Green says:

    @Rob Whittle,Nail2: Sadly I have to garee with Rob Whittle’s comments here. Waste management on this scale spells lucrative opportunities for politicians and contactors. We the ‘ordinary public’ are irritations to the pre-conceived process that is already underway.

    That should not stop us making every effort to thwart the plans for an incinerator, but in truth, we should have woken up much earlier and taken responsibility for the waste problem that is a direct bi-product of over consumerism and short-sightedness.

    What is so amazing is that during our zero-waste week, the front page of our local paper featured the story about javelin park and yet no-one made the connection with the zero waste effort! That clearly demonstrates the naivety of the public and the press. The incinerator argument will provide a wonderful ‘whipping boy’ to blame and vent our frustrations, but in truth, we are the authors of our own fate.

    The predator only goes to where there is prey…

  17. Layla says:

    Oh gosh, and here I was, wanting to suggest you guys lobby for making Gloucester a Zero Waste county?!!

    Quote from
    “Zero waste advocates aim to put the world on that path by promoting reuse, recycling, composting or rethinking of most materials that otherwise go into landfills. America is recycling about 30 percent of its waste – but countries including Germany, Canada, Holland, Japan, the Philippines, Norway and New Zealand have successfully implemented comprehensive zero waste policies that eliminate 80 percent or more of all landfill waste. U.S. cities including San Francisco, Seattle, and Boulder, Colo., have adopted zero waste programs.”

    (Indeed, NZ has opted for AD and such, been looking into it a bit, still not sure if it’s a ‘best option’ GRR!!)
    No waste would be a best option!!

    Maybe house-to-house visits and street campaigns and DOCTORS telling people about dioxin etc could help? (Do you have any medical people on board?)

    Yup, there is a lot of money involved, and they all keep blaming that darned EU scheme!! I wonder who was behind THAT in the 1st place!! (Or, exit EU & be rid of the scheme? ;)) I know it’s not so simple..
    I really truly believed you guys in Gloucestershire had it better off.. 🙁 GRR!!!

  18. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    No waste would be a best option!!

    Layla, I agree that would be the ideal?

    Zero Waste and Incinerators are a bit like the chicken and the egg. Does a Zero Waste community start firsts, then waste firms decide to crash to party building a monstrous incinerator nearby; or do Zero Waste communities initiate in response to a nearby incinerator threat. I wonder?

    I the UK expert Doctors, Professors, Toxicologists Engineers and Chemists who state peer reviewed scientific proof of doixins and PM2.5 fine particle concerns are labelled, poopooed, marginalised and discredited as scaremongers, misguided and excentric by multi million financed waste burner consultants and smooth and glossy PR/media departments. Still these Doctors voice their genuine concerns and empathy for local people near incinerators and put their reputation on the line; no honours list awards for them.

    Germany, Holland, Canada, Japan Singapore etc seem to also to be big on incinerators. New Zealand does export quantities of its residual waste to be landfilled in the UK. San Fancisco is recycling/composting 60% which is great acheivement, but 80% figures at the city/regional scale are tricky/not yet acheived.

    Many ZW experts eg Maxine Narburgh of Brightgreen and Rick Antony fully support AD for food waste; and are even supportive of Blue Bin comingled collections (glass collected separately) (like San Francisco, Norwich, Oxford) because the modern high quality MRFs (not dirty MRFs)with IR scanning in practice do a better job at sorting products than Jo Public comprehensively recycling manually at the doorstep. eg NEWS MFR acheives 100% quality 14Kg Al can compacted bars (no Al foil contaminants)

  19. Fr. Peter says:

    @Mr. Green: We are indeed “the authors of our own fate,” and ours is the task of making those who would be much happier keeping their heads in the sand rather than looking at the facts.

    We are, however, up against a powerful media that has to keep its numbers up and please its advertisers, this means that often the truth becomes secondary to these demands. How many of use were warning against the banking system… quite a few of us were… but were we listened to?

    What we have to do is to keep blogging, informing and to make our views known to our elected representatives as often they do not know what people think. I know from my local involvement when one resident complained to me about the parish council “not doing anything about this problem” while being totally unaware, neither attending meetings or contacting the Parish Council, that I am the Vice Chairman!

    It is that sort of mindset that we are often up against.

  20. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    “We are, however, up against a powerful media that has to keep its numbers up and please its advertisers, this means that often the truth becomes secondary to these demands.”

    With regards to recycling, I totally agree.

    If you take a section of the media; The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, occasionally the Daily Express; its owners and editors are printing anti recycling, which makes the readers to believe its not worth it.

    Speaking to a local manager of a MRF (Material Recycling Facility) he bans the reading of The Daily Mail from the staffroom, not only for its contr-recycling editorials; but also because Daily Mail newsprint (Think also The Evening Standard) is very difficult to recycle due to the print/ink and has to be “filtered” into other broadsheet recyclate at paper mills at a rate no greater than 10%. He has a case! Seems Max Hastings et al have a personal and irrational grudge against recycling/green collar jobs.

    No many readers /folks are aware of this.

    If we return to the media and the current transient low price for certain recyclate such as card, mixed paper or steel cans; the media does not now mention any stockpilling has disappeared (worked its way through), plastics bottles/tonne have risen by £60/tonne in the last month to £210/tonne and even lonely mixed paper market is turning in February from (-£20-0/tonne) to £-10-0; card also up by £5/tonne

    Prices/Facts are here

    All vastly cheaper and more beneficial for the planet than disposing in an EfW Incinerator facility at -£55-80/tonne gate fees (notice the minus. The Daily Mail doesn’t bother to report on this and lay the market economics and relative trends truely out; as it does not report Veolia’s credit crunch PFI crisis in raising cash to build Incinerators.

    “We are, however, up against a powerful media”

    So true, but as we see, even diehards like Jeremy Clarkson’s (perhaps not the best resource/energy role model, but he’s trying)armour start to slip, once he considers the “sun age” future and innovation of creative folk!

  21. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    Daily Mail (Evening Standard)uses Flexographic (Flexo)printing which is difficult to De-ink at paper mills; thus recycling. So comtaminates (sabotages)the wastestream and efforts of other newspapers to sustainably recycle

  22. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    Daily Mail (Evening Standard)uses Flexographic (Flexo)printing which is difficult to De-ink at paper mills; thus recycling. So comtaminates (sabotages)the wastestream and efforts of other newspapers to sustainably recycle

  23. Poppy says:

    @Rob Whittle,Nail2:

    From what I’ve read on their message boards, I don’t think the majority of their readers would actually care about that Rob.

  24. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Poppy, I think you mainly right;, although if they aren’t brainwashed by what they read, and the editors agenda might have been triggered by some EUocrat telling him he had to stop printing Flexo-non-Recyco; at this completely disconknobulated him; one wonders?

  25. Layla says:


    That’s all I can say… Well, they all better start reading it real fast, and commenting on the ‘bad stuff’… (?) or giving counter-articles, no? Press releases, press conferences etc. (?)
    Is there a PR agency (or a few) involved in this? Aren’t there eco PR agencies (the one that introduced swishing etc)?
    Writers, authors, famous authors, celebrities, people endorsing the no-burn policy? In Phillipines, a young gorgeous actress is a ‘zero waste’ face!!

    I do fear it may be a bit too late, like it seems to be here in Slovenia.. Too lazy councils and national government for too long!!

    With rising cancer rates and mental health diseases all over Europe -and world!- INCLUDING Japan (and yes I know about their unfortunate acceptance of incinerators!!) – one would think people could be SMARTER-??

    Thanks for more info on various ZW proponents of other stuff! oy, this does seem a bit like a big pot of confusion all sorts of things get thrown in?

    I wanted to comment the BBC article, but couldn’t figure out how (do you have to be registered and logged in?)
    At least in 1999, this was true: “Cancer survival is improving in Europe, but Britain and Denmark are lagging”
    I’ve also come across stuff on cancer overall increasing all over Europe (and elsewhere), don’t know where..
    And when they say ‘modern facilities younger than 15 years’ are better – well, these effects are always long-term, who knows what the scientists will find in 30 or 50 years!!

    The Croations always use the Trieste incinerator as example, where 2 blocks out of 3 had to be stopped because the dioxin emissions were too big – and this with only measuring those levels every 6 months, with incinerator people knowing ahead!!

  26. Layla says:

    Also, why is there no author next to this:
    Is it a PRESS RELEASE??


    There were heaps of press releases in the papers when the 1st ‘EfW’ was built in Slovenia, greenwashing the whole thing!!
    /later on I learnt the council had employed a PR agency to 1st assess the ‘eco-awareness’ of citizens, and when they learnt it was virtually non-existent (no surprise, as they’ve been poisoning them for ages), they built a ‘green’ WfE – instead of launching a huge educational campaign!! Grr!!/

    Journalists, even well meaning media people have no way of knowing when the greenwashing is ‘real’ or just uhm, greenwashing!! (or don’t know where to ‘dig’) sometimes even well-meaning people can perpetuate ‘garbage’ thinking it’s true!!
    Even I was at first confused by all the ‘green’ statements and ‘EU-friendliness’!!

    so, something to keep in mind, maybe…

  27. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    Well according to Dr Mark Broomfield,chief chimneysweep for incinerator PR consultants Enviros, for the incinerator Industry; you, I and ordinary folk are into believing Myths about emissions, PM2.5s, Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Dioxins and Metals; and that steam is the only stuff that comes out; and he is the shiny knight portraying The Truth. Hmmm! Hmmm!

    Read, pp420-475 Wast not, Want no

    Us small folk don’t matter! Spin Wins!!

    Well, we might have to get the stack top PM2.5 and PM1 monitors out to check out the steam. (NB continual PM2.5 monitoring is not required by the Waste Incinerator Directive, WID)

  28. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Copy n paste url into address bar, including end .pdf

  29. John Costigane says:


    That would be a way to counter the propaganda about emissions. What legal challenge could be mounted when toxins are detected?

  30. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Dick VS and Paul Connett explains everything perfectly; these guys are experts and know whats happening

  31. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    I corresponded with Dr Stephan Montanari a year ago- Basically we are getting into forensic stuff, ESEM scans of cancer tumours and toxic particle (eg Cadmium , hexivalent etc)fingerprinting to individual incinerator stacks upwind. Also ONS based health data worked up for downwind health; all supported by a medical expert.
    All legal challenges are very expensive, contaversial and messy; incinerator companies have millions/billions, campaign groups have a few hundred/whip rounds.

    Using BAT technology is another legal challenge area, IMO, using MBT+AD if landfill capacity still allows; newer gasplasma/plasmagas if landfill/quarries are in short supply to finish/condition with Compost Like Output (CLO)

  32. John Costigane says:


    The 3 last youtube links show there is a scientific background to our views. We just have to keep the spreading the message. Legal cases could hit the waste companies where it hurts, in the pocket. After all, that is their only interest.

  33. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    If you look at the bottom right column of our webblog you will fine a lot more research, much peer reviewed.

    Montanari has done some fab work with his wife Dr Gatti for nanodiagnostics in Modena, which run’s/leads the EU research on GWS/BWS and nanopathology/ESEM science. Italy is going through the same contra incinerator stuggles as per the UK. Beppe Grillo has been a cult figure here with his Meetups.Stephan has had an impact in Ireland and other than Dublin incinerator; others have now been cancelled.

    We need to link up all the health research from the US, UK, Italy, Japan, Holland, France, translate it.

    The health risks will come out, with time, its only time and via thorough monitoring and research; nullifying many of the incinerator contracts/permits as worthless. Incinerator companies/their paid PR consultants realise this, and this melting down their deals, thus Dr Mark Broomfield earns his coin, and EU waste raporteur Caroline Jackson South West MEP represents incinerator interests in formulating a pro CHP incinerator Waste Framework Directive, whilst at the same time dismissing a petition from 15,000 Doctors and taking adviser payments from now pro incinerator company Shanks/Trukbarrow.

  34. Layla says:

    Well, people or experts here in Slovenia don’t actually disagree that incinerators are toxic – they just say ‘the modern facilities are better’ (than the old toxic ones) and have ‘great filters, 2m thick!’

    And some others say, ‘What to use instead?’ And called ‘zero waste’ ‘utopian’ (so was flying, just ask the Wright brothers!!)

    basically, incinerators ‘more modern than 15 years’ are praised to be better – but as cancers etc are long-term results, how do you measure this indeed?!!
    I was told & read that going ‘too technical’ (& trying to research it all) may actually slow down the campaign, so other arguments like what I wrote re:the Trieste incinerator, & ‘bring in the expert’ like Rob’s said etc may be better used instead! Prof Paul Connett has been here in Slovenia before (several years ago) and helped stop big incinerators.. now smaller ones are planned that are said to ‘not be so toxic/problematic’!

    The main thing is to divide this work among many or at least several people, not just go it alone! (it can be ‘too much’ for just one person or just a few..)

    It’s scary, even a Spiderman movie has PR budget of 100 million$ – so this industry probably has even more!! hm!

    Is AD or MBT really better? Or those other techniques mentioned? been reading a bit on it, still a bit mind-boggling.. and how tested has that been? to not end up recommending something even worse…?

  35. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Is AD or MBT really better? Or those other techniques mentioned?

    Incineration is oxidation (=dioxin via PVC) which means imperfectly filtered particle and worse CO2 footprint

    Other technologies/methods are better. I don’t press one or more, as every proposal is different and somethings needs a combination of each. It depends.

    I’ve compiled a “balanced” video compilation to explain technologies. Obviously it makes no sense to convert plastics by Anaerobic Digestion or Food Waste by Gasplamsa; or composite products in ZW centres; each has a role eliminating incinerator use. All are more energy efficient/smaller foodprint than a CHPIncinerator. So they are out their, working and the future. So their is much hope!

  36. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Plus Paul’s On the Road to ZW is great for higher order waste and reuse

    Brightgreen are trying to develop a ZW recovery park in Norfolk

    Environparks proposed in South Wales is intersting

    Enviroparks with a consortia including Europlasma and are planning an Organic Recovery Park including a plasma module in Hirwaun, South Wales, as one part including composting and AD; in Wales’s own back yard.

  37. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    “Also, why is there no author next to this:
    Is it a PRESS RELEASE??”

    Simon Cole was the BBC Radio 4 author and took quite a pasting from many quaters for his pro incinerator bias. Alternatives were not mentioned in the original report, and only many complaints managed to get the alternatives box in, and balance.

  38. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    Bill Law ,BBC producer took a massive pasting on Radio 4 Feedback

    Personally I was shocked about how ignorant he was of the deeper issues; and didn’t have the guts to answer or own up to errors/biased agendas in the progra. eg Denmarks backdoor to Norway or 50% recycling ceiling.

    eg Fine Particle PM2.5, PM1 debate; reverting to the older Dioxin/Furan health debate

    No mention of Alternatives: Such as MBT+AD, Autoclaving+AD, Plasma Gas— He really didn’t have a clue about these or the current state of their “provenness”, which is out in leading technology consultants reports Juniper Consulting, in 2008; This is the problem with these medio guys.. they think they understand the current debate, but they are way behind, out of date by 2 years or so on concerns, the state of best and latest non incinerator Energy from Waste technology.

  39. John Costigane says:


    Feedback has an important part to play and there may be a follow-up programme, about AD etc. Winning the argument with proven alternatives is a good way to counter the incinerator juggernaut. “Simple” solutions, like incineration, are often wrong.

  40. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    I fully agree. AD is going to be a major UK step forward, for all wet organics (not just food waste). I’d love to see more Zero Waste recovery parks. AD is fully priven and Dave Lee CIWM/20 companies will drive this forward; allowing the UK to leapfrog Denmark/Germany in the medium/longer terms in more sustainable/efficient/lower carbon/less polluting non incinerator CHP/EfW; which the residue will count as composting/recycling to land, whereas Denmark’s IBA to Norway doesn’t, or is dubious.

    IMO Core Strategies/Outline Business Cases need to be upgraded to a 60% recycling/composting level (not the current 50% WFD level), with some councils being allowed to set aspirational 70%+ levels, cutting residual to 30% and less. At least Gloucester is one step ahead than other WDAs with its 60% aspiration, but the last 40% should’t be prescibed to EfW/CHP burning, skyfilling and volumes of ash residues.

    Its interesting to research proveness or fully provenness; which are based on time (2yrs commercial plant running). Its like the Merlin helicopter/Typhoon doing its flight hours; unproven/demonstated doesn’t mean a technology doesn’t work or not worth considering, especially if its main components are fully proven; which is the case for Gasplasma/Plasma Gas.

    I’m quite sure myself and quite a few others have taken criticism over our niche/goalkeeper support of a role for PlasmaGas/Gasplasma for difficult residual, especially when combined with autoclaving (FoE briefing papers are ambivalent/against on both). This is fair enough and IMO worth rational and debate debate with and within our UK envirinmental NGOs, but also with policy makers.
    If landfill is in sort supply for MBT/AD/CLO solutions; like Suffolk, one has the look at better thermal solutions than Incineration or big Novera style gasification, in the residual options. Least of two weevils.

    For example, if proven Sterecycle mechanical autoclaving was combined with APPs gasplasma unit; Eunomia/Dr Dominic Hogg has concluded; this combination has a very favourable carbon footprint, comparable with MBT+AD (Norfolks SRM)

    Compare this to the choice of big incineration or big gasification (I feel the unacceptable line is about here); these alternative technologies must be a better solution that local people can accept.

    My belief is if one widens the practical alternatives to incineration, waste industry lust for incineration and market enthusiasm will dwindle; this opens the door to all these possibilities including Zero Waste recovery parks/Organics Parks, each playing their niche role.

    These are the deeper complex research and discussion Simon Cox/Bill Law missed [caught sleeping in response on Feedback]on their BBC radio 4 watch and pro burning programme.

  41. Layla says:

    Oh gosh!! Thanks!!

    & Thank you so much for posting these videos!! (They’re an easy way to get those concepts across!!)

    Am especially delighted with Prof. Paul Connet!!

    As for the others, that stuff coming out – not so sure about it!! Isn’t ordinary compost better?
    Or what if a plasma/etc facility breaks/has a temporary ‘issue’ that needs to be fixed? – the crunch time for pyrolysis facilities was in such times, and that’s when things went wrong (in Furth, Germany, an area had to be evacuated..) And their ‘statements’ (how clean it all is, of usability of material etc) – reminds me A LOT of what the pyrolysis people have been saying..
    Didn’t see many quotes/numbers of emmissions etc. except one guy (Plascoenergy) who says there’s ‘1.3 kg per ton of waste of heavy metal and other stuff’ – what are the numbers for others, and against incinerators? Is that assembled together anywhere already?
    Also, if something has been going on for just 2 years.. well, that’s not much time.. needs to be tested for longer.. the emissions measured etc, in air and soil (that ‘compost’ still looked a bit iffy to me!!:))

    “Brightgreen are trying to develop a ZW recovery park in Norfolk
    Environparks proposed in South Wales is intersting”
    Uhm, those scare me a bit!! wouldn’t something simpler – like normal composting – be better for organic waste?
    (of course that would be less likely to get billions of $$$ hmm…?)

  42. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    Paul Connett is really promoting ZW recovery parks as in California, Nova Scotia or Sydney

    Its important to consider every waste treatment process gives certain emissions, and keep everything in perspective. Widdrow open composting can be problematic health /lung concerns for VOC emissions (Volatile Organic Compounds) and strangely have a worse net CO2 footprint than either AD or plasma; and sadly worst GHG effect/tonne than EfWincineeation (which is tough to swallow). Think 000,OOO’s of home composters often poorly managed composting (too wet, not enough air/turning, not the right temperature). Not having a go at composting, as I compost on the allotment, but raising the relative perspective issue. I think this is why WRAP has finished subsidising home composters last month and pressing AD which does things professionally and is organised/much better on overall carbon footprint.

    Biomass or wood charcoal burning also has its fine particle emissions issues; with a big renewable push in this direction. Personally I’d be more concerned been downwind emissions of a Widdrow/ Biomass facility than a Gasplasma module.

    The figures/Plascos Ottawa 50,000Tpa Demonstrator figures from their process are here for 2 years. In Japan plasma modules for waste have been used for some years, as they have on Carnival Cruise Liners. Plasma technology goes back to the early C20th. Plasma produces a bassalt/obsidian like product that can be molded into roof tiles etc, which is recycling/product making. So no toxic ash/chars.

    which are verified by a consultant called Juniper consults.

    EU figures for each are where the most modern EfW/CHP incinerator is called WID limits. Dioxin/Mercury/Particulates are important measures. Plasma emissions are 10x-1000x better than the modern incinerator (if we are looking at safer conversion of composite/materials with no market/difficult to recycle stuff; pringle’s tubes, disposable razors extra)

  43. Joe K says:

    The one thing I’d say about this right now, Mrs Green, is where did you get this ‘Although 80 per cent of local residents are against incineration’ line from? It sounds like a quote from Parmjit Dhanda, and even he isn’t willing to ‘fess up that it probably came from a survey that *he* arranged.

    AND that I agree with Fr Peter and Katy… if the people of Haresfield and Quedgeley prove that they are prepared to cut down their waste significantly, they will be in a much better position to oppose an incinerator. Zero Waste leaflets were handed out at the Quedgeley meeting in November last year, but how many took part at the end of January?

  44. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Joe; welcome to the site. The figure I made reference to was from a local news story. I believe it was Mary Newton from the Glos Friends of the Earth who said it; but don’t quote me on that.
    I can find specific reference if you would like it.

    You don’t think the Parmjit Dhanda ‘against incineration’ petition is worth signing then? We only found it last night and were about to share it on the blog for others to sign! Tell me more about him …

    We agree with your last paragraph entirely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  45. Joe K says:

    @Mrs Green:
    Nice to be here.

    I am quite confident about the source of the ‘80% opposed’ line, as Dhanda’s secretary refused to respond to my query about it. They wave it about like the unconventional TV detective waves his library card at a crime scene, so people think he’s a police man. They *don’t* like it when someone asks: ‘Hey is that a real police ID..?’

    I think, bluntly, that any petition sponsored by Parmjit Dhanda is not worth signing. However well-meaning signatories are, he and his cronies will want to use it gain leverage against the Tories in the run-up to local elections. I am *not* pro-Tory (gave it some thought, but decided against it), but I am definitely anti-Dhanda, and anti-Gloucester Constituency Labour Party as long as Dhanda is still their PPC come the general election. It would take too long to explain why, just take it from me, they are happy to throw a bunch of signatures at the county council, but residents challenging the county council with serious alternatives to an incinerator would *not* please them. That’s why their ‘No Inicnerator In Gloucester’ Facebook site is an interest-free zone, even though, of it’s 33 members, three are Labour councillors. Even the creator abandoned it for months, until he came back (or was told to come back) and removed my membership for asking if the Labour government shared their opposition to incineration.

    Mary Newton may also be as well-meaning as many people who sign the petition, but I Googled Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth Network, and of their two press releases, they didn’t tell the truth about the Shire Hall ‘photocall’ (Dhanda and Drew were not there at the 12 O’Clock launch of the petition, or three minutes later when I left. They only came out of hiding after that point), and their challenge of a Tory MEP on biofuels seemed a little party political when the views of Labour MEPs in the South West were not apparently sought also. GFOEN would seem a lot more reputable if they didn’t appear to side with the GCLP.

    I still believe that challenging county councillors on recycling policy directly by email will have more effect than a petition. Get on record what their views are and take it from there…

    Well, I banged on a bit, didn’t I? 🙂

  46. Joe K says:

    My bad, GFOEN have a third press release now, about the Rugby Club protest (which, like SWARD, they didn’t publicise in advance):

  47. Poppy says:

    SWARD is based in Bishops Cleeve Joe, so they would be unlikely to advertise in your neck of the woods. That said, the meeting was (deliberatly ??)kept low key by GCC and the call to arms only went out a week before. Even Councillors had problems getting an invite!

  48. Joe K says:

    I’m talking about their web site, Poppy, but it’s interesting if GCC are trying to keep meetings under wraps. I emailed the county council to ask when they would be having a debate in the chamber about the proposals for a recycling plant, and they said there were none planned. Economical with the truth or what?

    A week is still plenty of time to put word out to FoE, Facebook, the Gloucestershire Boards, etc, though. If the will is there…

  49. Fr. Peter says:

    Planning meetings cannot be ‘kept under wraps’, they have to be advertised and open to the public otherwise they are illegal.

    Have you contacted the lead member for the environment for their views and opinions? This would be worthwhile before you start any action.

  50. Poppy says:

    It wasn’t a planning meeting, it was a meeting for potential investors/developers.

  51. Fr. Peter says:

    If this is held at the council offices and an officer or member was present then any emails between the officers, members and the investors/developers as well as the minutes of the meeting will be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information act.

  52. Joe K says:

    The meeting was held at Gloucester Rugby Club. I was the one who used the phrase ‘kept under wraps’, while Polly said ‘low key’. I still suspect that information about the meeting could have been made public very easily beforehand, but that might have led to a change of venue which would hamper planning of the demonstration. I’m going to email the county council today to ask what steps in the process the public still has the opportunity to be involved in. It’ll be interesting to see their answer.

    Above is the Google cache of the Citizen’s story, necessary because the paper is employing it’s latest wheeze of hiding an article behind ‘Sorry we are experiencing difficulty processing your request at the moment.’ Just click on the ‘Access is denied’ box to see the story.

  53. Joe K says:

    I sent this to Stan Waddington yesterday:


    as you’re the county council cabinet member for the environment, whose name pops up each time a fuss about a ‘giant incinerator’ recurs, I thought it would be best to ask you precisely what opportunities the public will get to have a say in how the council is planning to spend the £92 million in government money it’s bidding for?

    Also, would you be able to persuade the government (with the help of the local Labour party?) to give you that money to spend on improving recycling quotas, or is it ring-fenced for waste disposal facilities?

    Cheers, Joe Kilker

  54. Mrs Green says:

    **stands up and applauds** – that’s great – well done Joe. Do post any response for us to read please!

  55. Fr. Peter says:

    Obviously, as I am in the SE of england I am not fully aware of how this situation is playing out, so I apologise if you have already done this.

    You are linking all you are doing to an environmental blog/website concentrating and informing on this issue, and that encourages people to recycle, reuse, repair, reduce and refuse (excess packaging etc) so landfill and incineration are avoided aren’t you?

    If the incinerator plans do become a reality then there is a fantastic chance to get the environmental message across by stating in a balanced way the reason why this facility is required at all.

  56. Joe K says:

    I had a response just before 5:30. I was going to precis it rather than quote an email to a private individual, but I just came downstairs after a long doze to turn the computer off, so meh…

    ‘The money is granted specifically to cover part of the capital cost of the waste facility, whatever the technology may be. It cannot be used for any other purpose.


    So no answer to the public consultation question, but that might just stem from an inclination to be cavalier about what questions one *does* answer, or because he really wants to avoid that issue, or a combination of the two. I shall have to ask if a ‘waste facility’ to separate waste until there is nothing left to incinerate/landfill is beyond consideration, but that can wait ’til tomorrow.
    Fr Peter, not usre if yuo were directing that question to me, but Stan Waddington should be familiar with the Zero Waste intitiative, if not this specific web site. I’ll make sure he is aware of the latter, though.

  57. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    @Joe K

    “I thought it would be best to ask you precisely what opportunities the public will get to have a say in how the council is planning to spend the £92 million in government money it’s bidding for?”

    This opportunity is consultation/scrutiny of the outline business case OBC PFI cash (50% of total CAPEX as you mention).

    This ball might have passed in effect, although revision might be by challenge/scrutiny of the waste amounts; but I doubt it will vary the PFI amounts greatly.

    Here in Norfolk, we are in a parallel process between OBC for residual PFI and consultation on the Bid Procuement Model where we have had the opportunity to improve the environment balance from the previous BPM. So in a range of technology bids; there is an improve odds the “better” technologies/bidders mighht be procured (Check table with higher/lower level scorings, compare with GCCs eventual version)There should be a public questionnaire/consultation on this, feeding into the BPMs criteria

    “Phase two of the Residual Waste treatment Project – Bid Evaluation Methodology
    The purpose of a bid evaluation model is to ensure =that the most economically advantageous tender is taken though to the award of contract

    Report by the Director of Environment, Transport and Development”

  58. Joe K says:

    You lost me at ‘parallel process’, Rob, although I did look up OBC and found an interesting link to a Defra page – They lost me at ‘PRG’, although I see that three paragraphs down, they mis-spelled ‘assessment’.

    The long and the short of it is that the public probably aren’t going to get much of a say in the selection via the ‘official’ channels. Public pressure will probably achieve more. Not the petition necessarily, but a coherent argument for ‘re-use, recycling and composting’ that protesters aren’t making right now, because they’d rather talk about traffic and health concerns. The former has something going for it, but neither will change the council’s mind/s

    This is the so-called, and Labour controlled, protest group against the incinerator proposal, inasmuch as it *is* a proposal yet. The absence of anyone really saying anything, apart from my wife (my name was deleted for noting that the government had a part in any decision too) should be noted. With no-one discussing anything, and those who want to being banned, it’s no wonder GFOEN and SWARD are doing all the running:

  59. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    ‘parallel process’= Norfolk and many other local authorities are going through exactly the same process that Gloucstershire is going through to tackle residual waste. Our process is about 2 months ahead of Gloucestershire.

    Thing is with the more recycling direction; is the 60% recycling/composting target by 2020 is “enshrined” in the both Gloucestershire’s Core Waste Strategy+its residual business case. So very little chance of change here; 40% to residual is set by partners.

    Norfolk does have a few advantages. We have reduced down to 472Kg/head of waste Best in the UK; compared to Gloucestershire’s 520Kg. This doesn’t need the risk of receiving an incinerator will be any less or more, so 3Rs direction doesn’t guarentee against incinerator.

    One sure way is to vote out incinerator supporters like the sacked Labour cabinet in Bristol. Bristol incinerator scrapped this week!

    The other way we in Norfolk acheived it was a media campaign hounding the councillors for 2 years./ 100 different angles.

  60. Joe K says:

    Yeah, I really wanted to avoid saying the words ‘political pressure’, because it provided a justification for the people who, as I already mentioned, are very far away from being motivated primarily by environmentalism. Nevertheless, political opportunism can be exploited,since the public on their own don’t seem to be making any real effort to challenge the council.

    I had a notification from the ‘No Incinerator In Bristol’ Facebook site about Labour quitting, and that ‘further spending on the procurement process for a mass-burn incinerator has been suspended’. You can imagine that local opposition politicians won’t be mentioning this victory against incineration…

  61. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    The bottom line is where in the UK has the Zero Waste alternative for redesigning out residual claimed a defeat over an incinertator (however ethical and well meaning). Sad answer and fuck. Nil. No takers to date.

    How many cases are there of campaigns winning and defeating incinerators on political pressuring, alternative technology, plannibng, media campaigns, health /emissions concerns, planning concerns, traffic, people power/smart campaigning, energy efficiency,finding the needle in the haystack acilles heal. Answer. Quite a few!!!

    Thus any win, far or fowl, seems to doing the environment an unpious favour!

  62. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:

    The bottom line is where in the UK has the Zero Waste alternative for redesigning out residual claimed a defeat over an incinertator (however ethical and well meaning). Sad answer and fact. Nil. No serious takers to date.

    How many cases are there of campaigns winning and defeating incinerators on political pressuring, alternative technology, planning, media campaigns, health /emissions concerns, planning concerns, traffic, people power/smart campaigning, energy efficiency, finding the needle in the haystack achilles heal. Answer. Quite a few!!!

    Thus any win, fair or fowl, seems to doing the environment an un-pious favour!

  63. John Costigane says:

    @Rob Whittle,Nail2: Rob, I agree that our Zero Waste trend will not in itself do away with incinerators. That has to be done at council level, using various local means, with experience campaigners.

    Zero Waste is the answer in the long run and we can promote this sustainable alternative, valid in its own right. The reason I mention incinerators is to keep it in the news. The more people speak out, especially experts in environmental pollution and morbidity, the stronger the message. Good alternative technologies are also available and we can all promote these.

  64. Rob Whittle,Nail2 says:


    I agree long term Zero Waste will be the Strategies of the majority of councils in 10-20 years time; and also for most corporations. Some like Xerox have it now. I’m perhaps being a little contraversial/provative in raising this here. But its a useful internal discussion to be had, especially not discounting all thermal solutions.

    I like to talk about ZW in incineration campaigning as a long term aspiration and equation; not a current wholesale solution against landfill, against residual, against incineration.

    Government has a nasty habit of promoting flawed experts who agree with them, whilst discrediting/ ingoring a wider/specialised experts whose scientific truth/wisdom they do not wish broadcasting. Thats civil servants and abusive governments operating.

    Barring a mass popular national political movement, Government,Defra, WDAs, Officers aren’t going to rewrite their Waste Core Strategies, Outline Business Cases, Consultation Questionnaire etc in a hurry to include Option ZW alongside Option EfW; before 2014. Thats the important date because thats when these monstrosities have to be built for, or before, and where the rush for incinerator infrastructure. These are the harse battlelines.

    Some authorities simply don’t have any landfill left for CLO from better MBT/AD technology (its better they choose this technology like Norfolk if they can, or get huge food waste proportions out via AD); but authorities like Suffolk do not. If Gloucestershire has enough landfill for 20 years MBT/AD should be the answer at Javellin Park, if that is a suitable location, a matter for planners/local folk. If not one has to begin to have to look in the more promising end of the thermal spectrum (PlasmaGas/Autoclaving to Gas), to counter and avoid large scale incineration momentum. So personally in the residual waste area I currently place alternative technologies before Redesign ZW centres to counter the need for incinerations. We enter an area of tough choices, without ZW residual strategies being on the table. Its complex and not easy.

  65. Poppy says:

    There’s a feeling of mutted relief and excitement around Gloucestershire at the moment. It”s as though people are frightened to shout too loudly incase it turns out to be not quite true …………………

  66. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: I know what you mean! I feel the same way – I think if money miraculously appeared it would still be back on, hence the muted feel about it all …

  67. Rob Whittle, NAIL2 says:

    Good news that PFI has been withdraw in Gloucs, perhaps now GCC might listen to the cheaper preferences of locals, whether zero waste or more benign technology.

  68. Mrs Green says:

    @Rob Whittle, NAIL2: Hi Rob, well let’s see. Next week we are off to hear Paul COnnett speak again and it will be interesting to see what is in the pipeline…

  69. Jane says:

    I notice that Lakeside efw was was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh this week and that Stoke Council seems to have problems with fulfilling its minimum contract amount to its incinerator company. Now that the amount of waste has dropped hopefully more thought is going into this.

  70. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Hi Jane, I think a similar story to this has been circulating about another area in the UK – they are just not meeting demand to feed the thing so they are having to import waste – for the next 20 or so years?? This is one of my number one reasons for not supporting incineration as a way of dealing with residual waste …especially in our current economic situation.

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