Children as young as 5 say no to incineration in Gloucestershire

Filed in Blog by on November 30, 2011 5 Comments
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Little Miss Green with her masterpiece

Little Miss Green with her masterpiece

On a beautiful sunny autumn morning, what better way to spend your time than with like-minded folk?

The other night, I read out an email to Mr Green from GlosVAIN (Gloucestershire Vale Against Incineration) who were organising a protest against the proposed incinerator for Gloucestershire at Javelin Park.

No sooner had I finished my sentence than Little Miss Green set to work with pens and cardboard. Within 15 minutes she’d made herself a banner to wave. How could I say no to taking her along this morning?

Being a gal who loves an excuse to dress up in a pretty frock, I fashioned myself this elegant floor length cardboard gown to wear:

Mrs Green's stunning floor length dress

Mrs Green's stunning floor length dress

I was delighted to see several children there and had the opportunity to speak with some of them. I met Elly; 12, Martha; 9, Becky; 11, Lucy; 10 and Alice; 8. All five of them lived near Haresfield; around one mile from the proposed incinerator site.

I asked them why they were at the protest and it bought tears to my eyes to hear their answers.

The voice of our future: Elly, Martha, Becky,

Beautiful, caring girls: Elly, Martha, Becky, Lucy and Alice

Their main concerns were animals dying and ‘the sky turning black’. They wanted to right to breathe fresh air, were concerned they would be able to see the incinerator from their house (indeed they would, it’s planned to be taller than Gloucester Cathedral). They were concerned about their health but most of all – innocent animals being killed and all the plants dying. Ya see, that’s kids for you – always thinking how they can save and protect the underdog…

They were all animal lovers, earth lovers and they seemed to understand on some deep level the effects of messing about with our eco system.

There were several younger children there too – Luca; 5, George; 5 and Tom; 3. The youngest protester was wrapped up in a blanket in her buggy dutifully holding her sign for the press to photograph. Alas my camera battery ran out so I didn’t get a photo of her…

Little Miss Green with Luca, George and Tom

Little Miss Green with Luca, George and Tom

I spoke to Luca’s Mum who told me that she was here to ask Gloucestershire County Council to call a halt to their plans. She wanted them to consider cheaper, more flexible and greener options that were safe for her children. She’d read about incinerator links with infant mortality and was understandably worried about the implication of an incinerator a mile from where her children went to school every day.

After our half hour of peaceful demonstration in which plenty of media turned up, members of GlosVAIN went into Shire Hall to meet with councillors to debate a motion opposing the incinerator.

At the beginning of the year I thought an incinerator was a ‘done deal, but according to GlosVAIN much has happened in our favour over the past few weeks.
For example Caroline Spelman has put a hold this month on a proposed incinerator in Norfolk because of concern about the “large volume of objections”.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) whose position is that incineration is safe, has nonetheless this year commissioned Imperial College London to carry out further research on the health impacts of incineration.
The independent planning inspector – appointed to examine Gloucestershire CC’s Waste Core Strategy in public at the end of January, has written to GCC expressing some major concerns around it.

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 (5)

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  1. Julie Day says:

    I never knew what an incinerator could do to the environment. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. Jane says:

    There are already more incinerators on the continent than they have enough waste for. Technology is always changing. This is not a route to choose when you could reduce your waste and use it better.

    It would be good to see even more young people like Miss G aware of the consequences of their totally self-absorbed consumer lifestyles. What a memorable day for her.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: My biggest concern with these is, as you say, technology moves so fast. Think back 25 years – would we have got online with our acorn electron computers? We’ll find ourselves in the same boat if we go down this route; with obsolete technology for the job…

  4. Antonio Pachowko says:

    first I would to say i am neither pro or against incineration. I am practical and my experience Has taught me that you don’t cut off your nose to dispite your face and that in certain circumstances incineration will be the best option taking into account environmental, health and safety and yes economical impact. What technology may be suited in one location will be unsuitable in another. This is when a feasibility study has to be carried out Do you think a study was not carried out Seems a bit far fetched to me..

    it is one thing to say one thing but to use ‘bad’ science is really not on. Most protestors are lay people and have no real understanding of the complex issues involved in designing incinerators in meeting tough environmental targets on Carbon Monoxide, carbon dioxides, Nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, heavy metals and other pollutants. They also have to make the plant safe and also do it in the most economical way. it is an insult to all the researchers and engineers (some with many years experience) that there word is not good enough for people who have limited experience. Normally to design any chemical plant is the matching of the thermodynamics of he process to the kinetics of the reactions involve to the equilibrium of the separation processes.

    Mrs G as computer modelling continues to develop and researchers develop better understanding of how process and unit operation works, then better designs will be carried out. in fact it is very rare for new technology to develop but most processes can be improved on by changing operating procedures, or changing pieces of equipment (new unit operations are being developed all the time but usually based on modification of old equipment, taking into account our increase understanding of the physics). Incinerators may not be replaced but most certainly they can be improved on.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Antonio Pachowko: I understand what you are saying Antonio, but it doesn’t stop my opinion that incinerators are a waste of resources. We are burning materials that could be reused or recycled. As for insulting engineers; I never take anything *anyone* says at face value, particularly where there are millions of pounds at stake. I don’t naively ‘believe’ someone because they have experience…

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