Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Shoving waste up a chimney isnt the answer

Letter to the Echo

Dear Editor,
Clive Bates (Viewpoints, January 20) argues that 'stringent Euro-standards' make nonsense of claims about the dangers from dumping a giant waste incinerator in Splott.
Yet he must know that there are no regulations to deal with emissions such as PM1s and smaller nano-particles.
The South Wales Echo reported the excellent talk given by Dr van Steenis in Ystrad Mynach recently. He revealed how these very dangerous minute particles reach the base of the lung and enter the bloodstream, where metals and other chemicals in them may dissolve. 
There are no provisions for monitoring these nano-particle emissions.
Although research is in still in the early stages, warning signals have been found in DNA damage.
Mr Bates also claims that it is best to recover energy by burning residual waste. Yet an expert in 'zero waste' technology, Professor Paul Connett, told a meeting in Cardiff that the best option is to reduce residual waste to a minimum, through more intensive recycling and sorting. 
We are way behind the 75 per cent recycling levels achieved elsewhere in Britain and Europe. Shoving more waste up a chimney and spewing toxic emissions into the air will undermine recycling, not increase it - especially when Mr Bates and his colleagues are proposing to subsidise incineration by up to £9 million a year through Project Gwyrdd.
As if companies like Viridor are not making big enough profits already from incineration - up 29 per cent in the latest half-year to £29 million.
And far from helping to 'tackle climate change', burning more rubbish produces far more carbon emissions (eg. from oil-based plastics) than it saves through electricity generation.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Griffiths
Chair, Cardiff Against the Incinerator
Note for editors: Robert Griffiths can be contacted on 07790 884137 

This letter was a response to the Welsh Assembly Clive Bates Director General, Sustainable Futures Read More