Waste incinerator plan at quarry 'totally unnecessary'
A large waste incinerator planned for near Welshpool will be totally unnecessary under the Welsh government's newly-published zero waste strategy, it has been claimed
Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, and Councillor Amanda Jenner, county councillor for Trewern, who are against the Buttington Quarry plans have previously called for a moratorium on new waste incinerators ahead of the new national waste strategy.
Now they say the government should stop plans for new incinerators.
Broad Energy Limited has proposed a 150,000-tonne waste incinerator or Energy Recovery Facility, located at Buttington Quarry. The size of the Buttington incinerator means that Welsh government ministers, under the Developments of National Significance Process, will make the decision on its approval, rather than the local planning authority.
The Welsh Government's Towards Zero Waste Strategy published on Friday, aims to ensure that no waste is sent to landfill or incinerators by 2050.
Mr George said that legislation banning key recyclable material from being sent to landfill or incinerators was also proposed and that Welsh government ministers have said that they will also work with the UK government to explore the idea of an incinerator tax.
A public consultation on the Welsh government's 'Circular Economy Strategy' will run until April, with events set to be held across Wales to seek people's views. The final strategy will be published later in 2020.
Mr George said: “I believe that the ambition in the Welsh government's national waste strategy to ensure that no waste is sent to landfill or incinerators by 2050 render the proposal for a large scale waste incinerator at Buttington quarry totally unnecessary.
"Given the size of the proposed Buttington incinerator, it will be for the Welsh government to determine whether or not it is necessary under the Developments of National Significance process.
"However, given the measures outlined in this consultation today, I would urge Welsh government ministers to consider whether or not a development of this nature is consistent with the ambition outlined in the Circular Economy Strategy and the Wellbeing & Future Generations Act which commits the Welsh Government to consider building large scale infrastructure only if it's necessary in the long-term interests of the country."
Councillor Jenner, county councillor for Trewern Ward in Powys, said: “I welcome the Welsh government’s consultation announcement today. It is important that the Welsh government takes the time to look at our waste strategy as a whole in order to ensure that waste is dealt with strategically and in the most environmentally conscious ways as possible.
"With the ambition of sending zero waste to incineration by 2050, the Welsh government should put in place a moratorium on any new waste incineration plants whilst this consultation and the responses to it are considered. A move towards a circular economy should reduce the need for any increase in the capacity of waste incineration.
"In addition, with the UK government as a whole rightly committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, this consultation should include an assessment of the environmental impact of incinerators. Currently, the output of CO2 by incinerators is not restricted and burning waste adds to greenhouse gas emissions produced in Wales.”