Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 21 October 2010

There is a new kid on the block.
For some time now the incinerator debate has focused on where the new incinerator should be. We all know that landfill is running out and within 5 years there has to be an alternative. Most of us are pleased at the recycling record of South Hams (55%) disappointed in Plymouth's (30%) but recognise that even if we recycle more we will need a disposal option for what remains. We all want supermarkets and food processors to reduce packaging. We recognise the reasons for Devon, Plymouth and Torbay councils getting together to form a waste Partnership to try and sort this out. We realise that it is our waste that is causing the problem.
A minority think we can recycle everything and that incinerators are health hazards and do not want them on any basis, anywhere. Most of respect their sincerely held opinions but take a different view.
A long process has ended with the Partnership facing a decision between an incinerator in New England Quarry, opposite Lee Mill (proposed by Viridor) or Devonport Dockyard (proposed by MVV).  I oppose the Lee Mill option for planning, highways and environmental reasons and prefer the Dockyard option because the heat from it can be used by immediately adjacent buildings. I will continue to lobby the Partnership about this, as I have done for eighteen months. In the meantime Viridor have applied to Devon Council for planning permission for New England Quarry and threaten to build a commercial incinerator there even if they do not win the partnership contract for municipal waste. Many of us have objected to this and will continue to do so. This planning decision is expected early next year and CAVIL, the local campaign group, will be calling upon all of you soon to renew our protests.
The debate has now changed. A new alternative to incineration has emerged, put forward by a group of local technical experts. They are holding a seminar on 4th November in Ivybridge to present this to the officers and councillors who will be making this decision.
I urge all policy-makers to approach this meeting with an open mind. To me it looks very attractive. It will certainly deal with our waste requirements without incineration. It looks as though it may save our councils at least £5 million pa as well as better protect our environment. It is not too late. Carpe Diem.

posted by Gary @ 16:27