Incinerator row: Thanks to supporters and a raspberry to council stance
I WOULD like to give a big thank you to everybody who supported the Global Day of Action against Incineration and for Alternatives.
There were a number of us picketing and lobbying at County Hall, and it got quite feisty at times. We know one thing for certain, the leader and the portfolio holder are not going to listen even if they could save £20 million a year.
I would also like to thank those who stopped and engaged with me on Lemon Quay, Truro, despite the inclement weather.
We also had a good crowd at Kingsley Village to see the Jeremy Irons film Trashed, including some Cornwall councillors. Perhaps those councillors who refused our invitation might like to see the same film at Truro Cathedral this Friday.
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The Health Protection Agency has stated that, despite its current position that "incinerators are not a significant risk to public health", it is funding a study by Imperial College and Kings College London, into links between incinerators and health issues.
Obviously the data will be collected from existing incinerators, but is unlikely to include the one on the Isles of Scilly because the study is only going to consider "areas with good data on congenital anomalies", which doesn't include Cornwall.
The Isles of Scilly incinerator was found to emit 65 times the permitted amount of poisonous toxic dioxins, despite only being tested once every six months and on days when the operators had been forewarned that a test would take place.
A Freedom of Information request to Cornwall Council has revealed that it will not do a background check on the health of people in the St Dennis area before the incinerator is built and they will not be monitoring the health of people in the area once it is operational.
It does, however, inform us that it has a "duty of care to all residents of Cornwall".
It is difficult to make the noise of a raspberry in print.
THE ITV news on Friday, November 8, showed Cornwall councillor Bert Biscoe, head of the Transport and Waste Committee, raising the matter of lack of landfill sites when speaking to the public who were demonstrating against incineration of waste.
The incinerator will produce much ash, most of it toxic, which will still have to go somewhere. In Cornwall, with its squally showers, it will be difficult not to have some ash blowing away during loading and transporting. This will not be measured.
There are two significant issues that the council is ignoring:
1) The carbon dioxide produced by the incinerator; this will raise Cornwall's footprint.
2) The release of toxic nano-particles that will get through the incinerator chimney filters and that, again, no one will be measuring.
Toxic nano-particles harm us and other creatures. The argument that other issues, such as vehicles, bonfires, fireworks, industry and homes, all cause toxic emissions are separate matters and must be dealt with individually. They should not be used as an excuse.
By anaerobically digesting much of our waste, we would not be having these frightening consequences to deal with.
PAUL CONNETT, a well-known campaigner, appears in the film Trashed and, in it, he says that he thought incineration was a good thing until he actually looked into it.
I also did not know that mass burn or other types of incineration (destructive thermal treatment) are a dreadfully bad way of disposing of waste and, like the vast majority of people, had no interest in waste treatment as long as the collection of it worked and I never saw my black bags again.
The incinerator being built very close to me changed my outlook completely because, if even a small amount of thought is given to the nature of waste, then it is immediately obvious that it is a resource and it certainly is not waste (or rubbish or trash or garbage as we all refer to it).
Here are the ten points Paul Connett made against incinerators:
1, they are very expensive;
2, they create very few jobs;
3, they are a waste of energy;
4, incinerators are inflexible;
5, they produce a toxic ash and do not get rid of landfills;
6, they produce very toxic air emissions;
7, they release very toxic nano-particles;
8, incinerators are extremely unpopular with the public;
9, they are not sustainable;
10, there are better alternatives.
More detail of these ten topics can be found by searching online for: "incineration the biggest obstacle to zero waste" (Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community At A Time, by Paul Connett, 2013).
MANY in our county have been concerned about wind turbines and solar farms and have put much energy into opposing these projects, but in the meantime we have failed to notice the real elephant in the room.
Those of us who love our county, the varied countryside, the seascapes, the beaches, creeks and estuaries, the clean air and sea, the wonderful local food – its uniqueness – are living under a real threat of toxic pollution which will affect particularly our children and grandchildren.
To understand this please beg, borrow, or put on your Christmas list, the film produced by Jeremy Irons, Trashed (trashedfilm.com). Watch it urgently and note especially its message on incineration.
Then you will begin to understand that even a 300ft chimney will not keep our fields, countryside, animals and us free from the dioxins that it will emit; our green and pleasant land will be tainted for years.
This Friday, November 15, there will be a special showing of the film at the Chapter House, Truro Cathedral, at 7pm; tickets are £3.
Our county, parish and town councillors all need to see this if they do not wish to abrogate their duty to us, their constituents.