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FOE warns: Oxon County Council threatens to incinerate county's rubbish

(richarddirecttv) | 02.11.2004 17:23 | Ecology | Oxford


*Immediate release **1 November 2004***

**County Council set to ignore its consultation and consider
incinerating Oxfordshire’s rubbish

On Wednesday 3 November the Executive of Oxfordshire County Council is
expected to establish a working group to draw up plans for disposing of
Oxfordshire’s rubbish including burning it in an incinerator [1]. The
decision to include incineration in the working groups remit goes
against the County Council’s public consultation earlier this year that
showed support for other waste disposal technologies [2]. Oxford
Friends of the Earth is calling for the Council to discount incineration from
the remit of working group ensuring that the £100,000 allocated for the
working group is properly spent [3].

The executive agenda includes a recommendation that the working group
or Project Board be ‘technologically neutral’ in making preparations for
the first waste treatment contract which would be agreed in 2005 and
start in 2009. The council agenda suggests using an ‘output’ based
approach where the Council would ‘specify the desired levels of
recovery and recycling’ and the contractor would choose ‘the most appropriate
technology to meet these requirements’ – including incineration. The
agenda does not include a summary of the public consultation.

A study for the Council by consultants Enviros Ltd, summarised in the
executive agenda, gives details of waste disposal scenarios judged
against meeting targets, cost and various risks. Scenarios include
incineration, mechanical biological treatment (MBT), anaerobic
digestion, municipal in-vessel composting as well as ‘do nothing’,
‘high recycling’ and ‘hybrid’. Even on cost grounds alone the incineration
shows little advantage against other scenarios, especially MBT. The
scenarios include many underlying assumptions.

Andrew Wood, from Oxford Friends of the Earth said

‘The County Council has ignored the findings of its public
consultation. Incineration potentially threatens human health,
undermines recycling and is unnecessary as the Council’s own study
shows. The Council should discount incineration now, knowing that there
are many other options available, including higher recycling, municipal
composting and Mechanical Biological Treatment of rubbish.’ [4]


Contact Andrew Wood, Oxford FoE: 01865 203 015/ 07973 953 446

*Editors Notes*

The Executive meeting starts at 10.30 am on Wednesday 3 November. For
agenda see,
item no. 9 and appendix EX9.

Oxford Friends of the Earth is holding a public meeting on Monday 8^th
November called ‘Don’t Burn our Rubbish’ at the Wesley Memorial Hall,
New Inn Hall Street, Oxford from 7.30 pm.

[1] The Council refers to incineration as ‘Energy from Waste’ in the
agenda. Energy from Waste plant is a type of incinerator where
electricity or hot water is ‘recovered’ from the burning.

[2] The Council held a public consultation with five meetings
throughout Oxfordshire in September and October 2004, the results showed
incineration or ‘Energy from Waste’ as the Council calls it was not
chosen as the preferred waste treatment in any of the meetings. The
agenda says the results should be on the County Council website, but
they aren’t.

[3] The agenda recommends allocating £100,000 for the procurement

[4] Recycling rates for Oxfordshire in 2003/4 ranged from 13% in West
Oxfordshire to 24% in South Oxfordshire. See agenda item EX9 paragraph

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