Friends of the Earth incinerator campaign

Filed in Waste News by on March 19, 2010 8 Comments
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Sign the friends of the earth anti incineration campaign

Sign the friends of the earth anti incineration campaign

One of our new years resolutions for 2010 as a family, was to get more proactive on campaigning.

We’ve been running the site for over 18 months and reaching a lot of people, but we’re aware a lot of the time we are talking to the converted.

If we want to bring about major changes, we need to be talking to businesses, retailers, manufacturers, local authorities and Government.

I don’t mind admitting, I’m a bit of an armchair activist and very comfy I am too. I’m not a banner waving, naked streaking, building climbing, living in a tree kinda woman.

I discovered over on Phillip Booth’s blog recently the perfect way to dip my toe into being more outspoken, thanks to the Friends of the Earth incineration campaign.

With a flick of your hand; well a hit of the send key to be more precise, you can wing an email to Nick Herbert; Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment; Tim Farron; Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment and Hilary Benn; Secretary of State for the Environment to try and stop Government funding for incinerators.

After hearing Paul Connett’s “Zero waste and sustainability” talk the other week I am personally convinced that incineration is NOT the answer to the county’s (or indeed anyone else’s) waste issues.

According to Friends of the Earth, incinerators, even if they generate electricity, emit more carbon dioxide than fossil fuel power stations. If that argument doesn’t work for you, then surely it cannot be denied that BURNING reusable or recyclable materials wastes energy and natural resources? In my opinion it’s time we view our rubbish as a resource.

And that’s without talking about money. The Government is offering councils £2 billion of taxpayer funding to subsidise new waste plants, including many incinerators. Incinerators require a fixed amount of waste every day over their 25-30 year lifetime; meaning our future opportunities to maximise recycling and anaerobic digestion will be severely limited.

If you are concerned about incineration and want to add your voice to the Friends of the Earth campaign, it couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is fill out a short form and an email will be sent to each of the main political parties.

And if you want to support our Gloucestershire anti incinerator campaign, you can now do that online too. Visit the Friends of the Earth online petition and sign up – it will only take you a couple of seconds.

Who said zero waste activism wasn’t easy and convenient!?

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 (8)

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  1. Ben says:

    The incinerator proposals that are appearing all over the UK are one reason why I’m determined to put less rubbish in my bin. With such strong anti-incinerator feelings being common, connecting these two issues, that with our increasing rubbish and decreasing landfill space every item placed in the bin is encouraging the building of incinerators, I think a lot more people would reconsider how much they throw away.

  2. Joe K says:

    Sorry, but it sounds more like zero thought activism to me. They even give you a draft letter to send, which minsters tend to automatically delete. I know I get accused of being ‘wordy’ by Poppy (while she recycles Vince Cable’s words on the Glo’shire Boards, without a single original thought of her own), but expressing your own opinion, in your own words, counts for more. And so does understanding the meaning of the word ‘residual’.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Ben: Thanks Ben – us too. We are determined never to give this incinerator a meal if it arrives. 😉

    @Joe K: Joe, I agree that writing your own letter is far better than a draft letter template, but I feel it is better people do SOMETHING than nothing at all. And who knows, perhaps if we raise awareness of this issue in an easy way, some people might feel more inspired to try something else; some other form of campaigning, lifestyle change or letter writing…

  4. Joe K says:

    Well, you know I have made the effort to pin the county council down on what consultation they have had with residents, and tried to clarify the issues on various sites, even if my efforts weren’t welcome on Labour’s sock puppet ‘anti-incineration’ Facebook page, ‘No Incinerator In Gloucester’.

    But check out Philip Booth’s new entry on incineration. I suggested that with all the publicity about *opposing* an incinerator (that the county council have always said wasn’t the chosen option yet), one blog focused purely on the best agreed alternative would be a more positive approach, and I think he’s come up trumps…

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Joe K: I follow Philip’s blog and loved his post too. We show, through our actions what one of the options to incineration is I hope…

  6. TIM says:

    My family and I live in Cheshire, which recently has been hit by no less than 3 applications for incinerators, one of which has just been approved at Ince Marshes on the Wirral. The other 2 are a bit closer to home, namely a private application for one at Brunner Mond in Lostock to feed their industry, and one for Council refuse at Wincham near my home town of Northwich. I strongly object to ANY incinerator being built ANYWHERE, as I believe that the emmisions are detrimental to health. I know the applicants will argue that there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case, but as a tax payer I say `Why take the risk? when future generations could suffer, and we are confronted by clusters of cancer- prone RED ZONES.
    Before the unitary Council changes in April this year, my Council, namely Vale Royal Borough, had an excellent record for recycling, which improved year after year after it first started, giving all residents an incentive to recycle. Incineration to me is a slap in the face for all the effort, time and money put into recycling by the Council and the residence. In my opinion the government should make this energy issue a top priority, and any government that states in writing that it will STOP Incinerators being built will have my vote at the forthcoming election. This to me is a more important topic than anything else on the political agenda.
    The government should force the giant supermarkets like Tesco`s to package their produce in a more environmentally friendly way. My family still have to put margarine tubs and non-bottle shaped plastic in the bin for landfill. These will not bio-degrade,but I am sure there must be an alternative material for the contents (like glass) that could be manufactured, even if it meant a government subsidy to the producers as an incentive. Together with recycling, this should greatly reduce landfill, and obviate the need for any Incinerators.

  7. Joe K says:

    Has the government stated in writing that it will stop any incinerators being built? It seems to me that our MP’s party has not been very supportive of his views about incineration, to put it mildy.

    There was an interesting comment on our local paper’s web site a few days ago, below an article about objections to a motorway service area some people wanted built on the M5 near Matson. This reader pointed out that with cars slowing down to enter the MSA and speeding up to leave it, far more toxic emissions would be produced than normal in the area. And ‘normal’ is pretty bad for a motorway. Yet not a peep has been heard from our parliamentary rep, who actually lives *in* Matson. I know this is starting to sound like a party political rant on the eve of the election, but I’m only replying to a post sent a few hours ago that suggests what our government should do. The incinerator/MSA split demonstrates the hypocrisy of the man described, by those who have an interest in his success, as ‘a nice bloke’.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Tim,

    Welcome to the site and thanks for your comment; you sound pretty upset about it all. 3 applications for incinerators is bad news and I’m sorry to hear one has been approved.

    Like you, we are opposed to incineration and are concerned about health and environmental effects. Did you see our video last week about dioxins? It’s very easy to watch and informative.
    You can see it at the bottom of this page:

    Like you, we are wary of the ‘no risk’ claims because I don’t think there has been enough research.

    I don’t think any political party would ever say never in terms of incineration, unfortunately. But let’s hope some changes get underway for better packaging and labelling in the very near future.

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