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Pollution for profit - we need to stop it!

Notts IMC | 07.12.2005 21:42 | Ecology | Social Struggles

Nottingham has recently seen an uprising by local residents in the area of Sneinton to stop the local incinerator from expanding and to demand better recycling facilities. Last year the campaign group NAIL (Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill) was set up to stop the incinerator burning waste in the middle of the city. When owners Waste Recycling Group (WRG) submitted an application for expansion, the campainers stepped up their campaign. Last Monday over 30 people took action against the local Environment Agency. On Saturday artists and residents in Sneinton organised the 'Rubbish Day Out'. A well attended event, organised to raise awareness of the incinerator expansion and to promote recycling through interactive workshops.

See report and photos: 1 | 2

Previous actions: include a demonstration in Nottingham city centre, a banner drop (which is still going on), a protest at the WRG promotional exhibition, and a public meeting back in September. Nottinghamshire Indymedia has been working on a short film about the campaign which will be online soon.

A campaign group has also been set up in Mansfield, just north of Nottingham, where there are plans to build a new mixed waste burning unit at the Crown Farm Industrial Estate in the Forest Town area. Campaign group MAIN (Mansfield Against Incineration) has held several well attended public meetings since early summer. Mansfield MP Alan Meale gave his support to the group. Both NAIL and MAIN are supported by Greenpeace, Notts Friends of the Earth, Nottingham Green Party and CABS (Clean Air for Bakersfield and Sneinton).

Campaign groups have started all over the country, including Sheffield, where a new incinerator being build urged campaign group R.A.B.I.D. ('Residents Against Bernard Road Incinerator Damage') to get into action, with local politicians [1] [2] stating the new facility will 'put the publics health at risk'. Also, the massive enlargement of the Parkwood Landfill site, with an increase from 266,000 tonnes to 1 million tonnes a year, urged local residents to step up their campaigns. Their ongoing investigation into the proposals is raising more questions than answers. Residents are beginning to see a possible link emerging between the new massive incinerator in Sheffield, which is nearing completion, and the proposals for the enlargement of the landfill site. The expansion of the landfill site, proposed by owners Viridor Waste Management, would enable the ash from the new Bernard Roads incinerator to be dumped there. See photos.

Links: Nottinghamshire Indymedia | Sheffield Indymedia | NAIL website | R.A.B.I.D website | View planning application for expansion Nott'm incinerator | Previous feature articles on Nott'm Indymedia: [1] [2] [3] | UK Indymedia articles on incineration | Wikipedia on incineration | Links to other campaign groups in the UK.

The air we breathe...

'Pollution for profit, we need to stop it' and 'air pollution is not the solution' read a couple of the numerous placards at the protest in the Market Square back in September. "Many residents have health concerns. Since I moved to Sneinton I started developing astma" says a woman who lives only yards from the waste burning facility. She speaks of the fact that Sneinton has a remarkable high level of astma and skin and cancer related diseases. But no proper research has enabled them to link it directly to the pollution coming from the incinerator. "It's disgusting that the incinerator releases way over the allowed amounts of dioxines in the air and no action is taken against them. The Enviroment Agency has recorded a level of 900% the allowed amount of dioxines coming from the chimney during their annual check last March and they've not done anything"

This is Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill [NAIL] case against the proposed expansion:

Nottingham's Eastcroft municipal incinerator is proposing to expand its facility, please support our campaign to prevent the expansion of this unnecessary, highly polluting, poorly regulated plant. Our Labour City Council is supporting the expansion that will see other people's waste being imported from the surroundings counties, to be incinerated in Nottingham to pollute our air. At NAIL we want our City to enter into the 21st Century and put incineration in the past, where it belongs. We are campaigning to get our City Council to stop supporting the incinerator, oppose the expansion plans and end its contract with Waste Recycling Group and improve on its appallingly low recycling rate of 9 only %. We must end the madness of incineration and the continued pollution of our most precious resource, air the substance of life. We have a right to breath air free of dust, heavy metals, chemicals and substances that we know are highly poisonous and cause cancer.

Incinerators do NOT destroy waste, it is one of the fundamental principles of science that matter can never be destroyed; it can only ever be transformed. Incinerators basically turn rubbish into ash, gases and particulate matter. These gases and the poisons are spewed into the atmosphere, to the air, which we breathe. Eventually they fall to earth where we consume the poisons through our food. Incinerators DO NOT destroy waste, our rubbish still exists we may see less of it, but we're inhaling and eating it instead.

Why should the expansion be stopped?

Nottingham City has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country, only 9%. Instead of increasing this to a more acceptable level, it is proposed to increase the incineration rate by building a third line and importing other people's waste! Proposals could mean that waste is imported in Nottingham from Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and incinerated in Nottingham to poison the residents of Nottingham. Incinerators are highly polluting and poorly regulated. They contribute to global warming. They produce 'Acid Rain' gases. Other wastes include toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, tin, and other poisons such as PCB's and Dioxins, which are extremely cancerous. The most poisonous substances, such as PCB's and Dioxins are only spot measured twice a year, so the overall discharged levels are estimated levels. Traffic delivering rubbish to the plant and removing ash will increase by 50 % leading to local disturbance and pollution. The incinerator costs Nottingham's Council Tax payers around a £1,000,000 per year. Much of what the incinerator burns waste, which could otherwise be recycled, thereby reducing pollution & employing more people. The current plant regularly breaches its authorised emission levels. Recycling paper uses 67% less energy than manufacturing it from raw wood pulp. Recycling 1 aluminium drink can save enough energy to run a TV for 5 hours.

Did you know?

- Most of Nottingham City's waste is incinerated, NOT recycled.
- The proposed expansion will lead to industrial waste being imported from the surrounding area.
- Manufacturing paper from recycled material not only save forests, but uses a third of the energy requirements than manufacturing it from wood pulp.
- Up to 80 % of household waste can be recycled.
- The City Council is losing £1 million per year of your money as a result of its heating contract with the incinerator.
- A British study of municipal incinerators published in 2000 found that children living within 5km of an incinerator had twice the rate of leukaemia and cancers of other children.
- The Sint Niklaas incinerator in Belgium met E.U safety limits but was shown to cause a 480% increase in cancer amongst local residents and shortened life spans by 12 years - it was shut down.

Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill [NAIL] - 0845 458 2813 - email: - web:

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  1. Recycling — Mike Parr