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The concerns of local residents about the proposed Hartlebury waste incinerator were raised by Peter Luff during a meeting today (Monday) with Dan Norris MP, Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Mid Worcestershire MP said that he was pleased to have had the opportunity to question a member of the government about future plans for waste management and recycling.
Peter meeting Environment Minister Dan Norris

Peter said,

“I had a wide-ranging and very helpful conversation with the Environment Minister, Dan Norris, about the proposed waste to energy plant at Hartlebury. I raised local concerns about the impact of the incinerator and sought clarification of the role of incineration in the government’s broader waste management strategy.

“I doubt the environmental sustainability of large scale incineration and I put this to the Minister. Mr Norris agreed that technology was changing fast, and that we should be putting more emphasis on waste reduction, reuse and recycling. Waste to energy incineration should only ever be considered as a last resort. He was clear, though, that it was the “least worst” option compared to landfill.

“Like me, Dan Norris feels that “the future is localism” and that people should pressure their local councils to be progressive and innovative with their approach to waste management. He said it was an exciting time in which we are able to work with new solutions.

“I expressed my concern that we risked locking the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire into an expensive capital project that would deny us access to these new solution sin the future and he agreed this was a risk.

“If we champion smaller and more adaptable recycling technologies like anaerobic digestion and MBT (mechanical biological treatment), then we will require far fewer incinerators and landfill sites.

“He also promised to give me details of any work done by the Department on the health implications of incinerators, but emphasised that they were in much wider use in countries such as Germany which have a tough approach to public health. He said this suggested there was a great deal of experience of controlling emissions successfully.”

“In summary, the Minister made clear that government policy is to exhaust all available options before turning to incineration. Incineration may still, regrettably, have a part to play.”

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