I READ in a national newspaper recently that the leader of East Sussex Council, Peter Jones, has acused opponents of the Newhaven incinerator of peddling “voodoo science”.
I would like to point out to Mr Jones that incineration is fundamentally unsustainable, recovering only a tenth of the energy used to make the products in our rubbish.
Also, each tonne of rubbish that is burnt represents the emission of up to five tonnes of CO2 – three tonnes from making the products in our rubbish, and up to a further two tonnes from the combustion process itself (as more paper and other biogenic material is recycled or composted, so a greater proportion of residual waste – the stuff they want to burn – is plastic, which produces over three tonnes of CO2 from every tonne that is burnt).
Of course the defenders of incineration claim that only non-recyclable waste will be burnt. However the real solution is to force manufacturers to redesign their products so they can be reused or recycled with very little energy.
Mr Jones has described the construction of the Newhaven incinerator as “the triumph of fact-based evidence over wilful ignorance”. I would describe it as the triumph of crass environmental vandalism.
Michael Gallagher, Perthshire