Deal sealed to burn rubbish in borough
PUBLISHED: 10:59 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:50 25 August 2010
A GREEN light given to incinerate vast quantities of the capital s waste will have devastating effects on residents health, claimed an environmental campaigner. John Livingston, of the Riverside Forum, said a decision to grant a 25-year contract to th
A GREEN light given to incinerate vast quantities of the capital's waste will have "devastating" effects on residents' health, claimed an environmental campaigner.
John Livingston, of the Riverside Forum, said a decision to grant a 25-year contract to the Energy from Waste Facility at Belvedere will have a disastrous effect on residents for generations.
He slammed the policy on incineration saying it was "waste from the rich thrust on the poor" and that the environmental effects would be felt around the globe.
On Tuesday, Bexley council granted a contract to Cory Environmental to burn over half-a-million tonnes of rubbish a year.
It marks the end of nearly two decades of cross-party opposition to the plan over two public inquiries, drawing bitter dissent from residents and Ken Livingstone, former London mayor.
Mr Livingston, 72, of Milton Road, Belvedere, said: "The most dangerous particles to human health will not be trapped by the incinerator's filter system.
"We called for a study that showed 12.5 per cent of Bexley's school pupils have asthma. This facility will make it worse."
Mr Livingston claimed Cory Environmental bosses, who face the closure of a landfill site in Thurrock in 2010, refused to pay for electromagnetic filters to trap particles smaller than 0.25 microns.
He added: "The pollution from the incinerator will have an effect on people as far away as the North Pole.
"We've had to put up with sewage waste from central London, now we are being dumped on again."
On average, 585,000 tonnes of waste will be delivered to the site's jetty each year via the River Thames. Bexley, which recycles half of its waste, will contribute just 70,000 tonnes whislt the rest will come from four south and west-London boroughs.
That means over 14.5 million tonnes should be burnt during the contract starting next January, though the incinerator can cope with up to 670,000 tonnes a year.
Mr Livingston estimated the council spent some £1.2 million fighting against the incinerator over 16 years, but said he didn't blame politicians for hailing the contract this week.
Gareth Bacon, Bexley cabinet member for the environment, said: "This was imposed on us by government, but not to use the incinerator would have been to cut our nose off to spite our face.
"Using it will have a number of environmental benefits, and help keep council tax down.
"We would have to spend more money transporting our waste outside the borough."
A Cory Environmental spokesperson said: "The impact from diesel engines is greater than from our facility. We have chosen to install an alterantive technology for air pollution control.