Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Local food grown in local park for local community

Brendan Walsh in the Edible Community Garden in Thornton Heath Recreation Ground
Occasionally, I get a chance to marry up two organisations I am involved with for outstanding results. I put Croydon Transition Town in touch with Friends of Thornton Heath Recreation Ground and now we have beautiful community garden in the Rec. Well done all those who made this happen.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Second address to the Development Control committee

Thank you for allowing me to speak:

I wonder if councillors were advised, when shown around Viridor’s Colnbrook incinerator, that during commissioning trials gas cylinders not only got into the waste bunker but were picked up by the grab and fed through into the furnace and exploded, causing damage that meant the plant was delivered 2 years later than scheduled. Viridor have freely admitted that commercial and industrial waste will be increasingly brought onto the site, increasing the likelihood of similar accidents occurring.

Re Carbon Intensity Floor: This incinerator comes in at just a few grams under the carbon emission targets set by the Mayor of London and this is only because the calculations include the heat produced. If the heat is not used from day one, it will exceed the Mayor’s carbon emission targets. This should not be overlooked.

This application before you is appalling value for money. [a.35 compares waste to energy from landfill only] At the previous meeting Councillor Coleman rightly asked the Viridor spokesman, if other cleaner technologies were considered. He answered: We apply technologies to specific solutions that are relevant to particular local authority requirements or commercial contracts. Councillor Allen rightly exposed, at the previous meeting, the potential income for Viridor from electricity generation, so what the Viridor spokesman really meant was other solutions do not represent as much profit for Pennon Group, Viridor’s FTSE250 parent company. To clarify the point: Councillors need to be aware of the costs of the different solutions. – So in order of expense, in terms of gate fees, to a council: landfill costs on average £85 per tonne, mechanical and biological treatment on average £79 per tonne, energy from waste on average £76 per tonne, In-Vessel Composting £44 per tonne, anaerobic digestion £41 per tonne and Materials Recovery Facilities, known as MRFs, only £9 per tonne. However, and this is key, since 2011 the MRF market has been buoyant, so much so, that councils on average are being paid – I repeat being paid - £26 per tonne for sending recyclable waste to Material Recovery Facilities, and remember 90% of all waste can be recycled. So Viridor have cheaper alternatives available to them that can save councils money, that are safer and also better for the environment. What is more, they are choosing these other solutions elsewhere. Earlier this year Viridor were awarded planning permission to build a waste treatment site in Glasgow. The numbers are similar: Both this site and the one in Glasgow will manage 200,000 tonnes of waste Both contracts are for 25 years. However, there is a key difference: The site in Glasgow will operate a three step process: A Materials Recovery Facility will be built to capture all the recyclables, and an Anaerobic Digestion plant will be built to capture the food and organic material, only the residual waste that is left will be put into an incinerator. This result of using this three step process means that Glasgow will be saving according to Viridor £254 million, whereas the saving here in South London is just £200 million. 54 million will go a long way to save many many vital local services earmarked for closure. The other big difference is the jobs created. 254 jobs will be created in Glasgow, compared with only 44 here in South London.

The In Vessel Composting facility on the Beddington site, which presently takes 40% of the kitchen and garden waste of the four boroughs will be demolished by 2023. This means councils will pay double the price if this organic waste goes into the incinerator.

Earlier this year the European Commission warned the UK to pursue reuse and recycling rather than overcapacity of incineration. Again, this should not be overlooked.

Councillors, Viridor shareholders didn’t elect you, council officers that are pushing the solution on the table did not elect you. We the people elected you, to represent us to take decisions based on what is safe and best value for us…not Viridor We urge you to take the honourable choice and vote down this proposal.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Talking about the incinerator on LBC

I spoke to Nick Abbot about the approved incinerator on LBC on Friday 17th May.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Talking about the incinerator on Croydon Radio

With Bieneosa in the Croydon Radio studio

I was invited by Bieneosa Ebite to talk about the latest developments on the incinerator on her In The Loop show.

The show can be heard here.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Council officers caught on mic.

I was listening again to the last few minutes of the meeting. There is a podcast of the meeting on the Sutton Council web site. What we didn't hear was a short conversation between, one assumes, council officers and Cllr John Leach. Just how much power do council officials think they have?? --------------------------------------------------
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Standing up for what matters