Friday, July 17, 2009

Letter re incinerator coverage


Dear Editor,

Thank you Croydon Advertiser for publicising the looming spectre of an incinerator. The vast majority of people in the borough were unaware that a consultation had even commenced.

Quite how we have moved from an innocent consultation leaflet entitled ‘Moving away from landfill’, with fields of daisies and woodland on the front cover, to a procurement document that sees Croydon Council seeking bids for the handling of incineration, radioactive and hazardous waste services is beyond me. The questionnaire within the consultation leaflet was astonishingly only completed by forty people in four boroughs. This smacks of a ‘what they don’t know won’t harm them attitude’.

Regrettably, I feel it is important for readers to recognise the politics behind this and appreciate the democratic deficit. It was the Labour and Tories MEP’s who voted to rebrand incinerators as ‘energy from waste plants’ - thus creating the impression that burning our rubbish is somehow environmentally friendly. One would assume the idea behind this rebranding is to get incinerators through the planning process. It is also the Labour government that is funding this South London incinerator and it will be the Lib Dem Councils in Kingston and Sutton, Labour councillors in Merton and this Conservative council in Croydon that sign off the construction of what will be known as a ‘waste management site’. Of course local campaigners will try and stop this eventuality.

What is also apparent is the lack of political will and vision from the other three parties. The solution to our growing waste crisis is a zero waste strategy of reducing and reusing coupled with recycling and composting. At an estimated cost of a billion pounds, surely the money spent on this ‘waste management site’ would be better used paying for an extensive education programme, comprehensive kerbside recycling facility and the building of a Resource Recovery Plant.

Studies show cancer rates, birth defects, lung and kidney disease all go up in the wards downwind from an incinerator.

The question is: Can you trust the council with your health if the motivation is to avoid incurring penalties for sending waste to landfill, which undoubtedly will result in raising council tax?

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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