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Green Party claims Worcestershire incinerator decision will be regretted for years
THE Green Party has attacked Worcestershire’s incinerator decision as a “missed opportunity”– and claims it will put people off recycling.
The Worcester branch of the party says the county council is on the verge of finalising a project which will be “regretted for decades”.
It follows backing from the Conservative cabinet, which voted through a £165 million loan last week to bring the rubbish-burner, planned for Hartlebury trading estate, a step closer.
A final vote from all 57 of County Hall’s politicians will now take place in January and, if accepted, construction could start in the spring.
However, the Worcester Green Party has made one last ditch attempt to scupper the plan, suggesting alternatives could still be explored, such as anaerobic digestion.
The method also uses rubbish to generate energy, but has the added benefit of creating a product that can replace artificial fertilizers.
Councillor Matthew Jenkins, from the Green Party, said: “This is a hugely disappointing decision.
“Incineration is outdated, expensive and completely unnecessary.
“It produces 33 per cent more carbon than a gas-fired power station, when it is used without combined heat and power, as in this case.
“We should be doing all we can to reduce waste and reuse and recycle more.
“Incineration takes away the recycling incentive.
“For rubbish there are far cleaner, cheaper and more efficient technologies, such as anaerobic digestion, which we should be choosing.
“If the incinerator is built, it will be a decision that will be regretted for decades.”
The incinerator decision is almost certain to be voted through because it has backing from the Tory group, which has an overall majority, and Labour.
It will have a capacity of 200,000 tones of waste every year and collect rubbish from Worcestershire and Herefordshire, burning it to generate electricity, which is then sent to the national grid.
It will be run by West Mercia Waste until 2023, and from that point will be handed to councils in both counties to carry on operating.
The Conservative leadership has consistently backed the project, saying it is the best value-for-money option as landfill is forecast to be full by around 2024.
It also says other emerging ideas are riskier as they are yet to be proven.
Councillor Anthony Blagg, the cabinet member for the environment, said: “It provides the best value for money option, will rely on proven technology, and offers long term stability.
“I would not want to take a gamble on our future.”
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