Waste incinerator plan raised in Westminster

Controversial plans for a large scale waste incinerator have been raised in Westminster.

Aerial photo of Buttington Quarry, Welshpool. Photo, Tim Thursfield
Aerial photo of Buttington Quarry, Welshpool. Photo, Tim Thursfield

Craig Williams, MP for Montgomeryshire, spoke during a Westminster Hall debate on incineration and recycling about the proposals for Buttington Quarry, near Trewern, in Powys.

He said: “Montgomeryshire covers 840 square miles with a population 50,000 people.

“That does not lend itself to a huge industrial incinerator with waste transported on our struggling trunk roads.

“With research carried out by WRAP Cymru finding that 75 per cent of the ‘ingredients’ for incinerators in Wales could have been recycled, I believe it is vital we further explore methods of storing non-recyclables that can then be mined when the technology becomes available to recycle it.

“The Welsh Government’s recycling target of achieving 70 per cent by 2025 is laudably ambitious.

“And in Montgomeryshire. Powys County Council is doing a terrific job of ensuring their targets are being met.

“It would be of great concern, therefore, if recycling rates in Wales are impacted by an increase of incinerators, particularly when communities such as Buttington see applications for large incinerators in very rural areas, which will require huge HGV movements across a large area of Wales and England.”

Mr Williams said he was very pleased to be able to speak in the debate and have the opportunity to raise the concerns of residents in Trewern and Buttington about the planned development for an incinerator.

“Trewern’s councillor, Amanda Jenner, and the Buttington Incinerator Impact Group have worked hard to ensure there is proper consideration of any major planning applications – such as the substantial incinerator that is being proposed in Buttington – during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Councillor Jenner she was also pleased Mr Williams MP had spoken in the debate, highlighting the impact of a potential large scale incinerator within a rural community, not far from a primary school.

“With a potential planning application consultation starting within weeks, my residents are rightly concerned about whether all people will be able to fully engage with such a sensitive and emotive consultation during the ongoing pandemic,” she said.

Conscious

“I was particularly glad to hear Craig raise this point. With the UK Government rightly committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, the environmental impact of incinerators needs due consideration.

“Burning waste produces CO2 and adds to greenhouse gas emissions.

“I have raised such concerns with Senedd colleagues and I also have a petition on the development of more incinerators currently being considered by the Welsh Parliament Petitions Committee.

“It is good news the impact of incinerators are being debated in Westminster.

“However, I would also like to see this issue debated fully here in Wales, given that the waste economy is devolved to the Welsh Government.

“As I have said before, 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.

“As we move towards a circular economy this should reduce the need for any increase in the capacity of waste incineration in Wales.”

Broad Energy Limited, which is behind the £114 million plans, claims the inxinerator could power more than 20,000 homes, by turning up to 150,000 tonnes a year of non-recyclable waste into electricity.

Broad Energy said also previously stated the energy recovery facility would create 35 permanent jobs and 300 during its construction.

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