Incinerators produce large amounts of CO2, which contributes to climate change. In fact, for each unit of electricity generated, incineration produces more carbon dioxide than gas fired power stations.
In a report for the Greater London Authority produced by Eunomia in 2008, incineration was amongst the worst performing waste treatment technologies ranked according to cost to society of the carbon produced. By contrast alternative technologies such as MBT performed better and had a lesser impact.
It is increasingly recognised today that the planet's resources are precious and scarce, and that indeed waste itself needs to be considered as a resource. Burning waste destroys valuable resources. Although the proposed incinerator would produce energy, its efficiency would be only around 24%. Recycling and reusing is significantly more energy efficient. However, incineration competes with recycling as it needs waste to keep the plant running.
Gloucestershire County Council's own figures suggest the MAJORITY of waste due to be burnt in the Javelin Park incinerator will be recyclable, compostable or reusable. Of the 190,000 tonnes of waste the facility will process every year, as much as 127,300 tonnes could be recycled, composted or reused. This is a backwards and perverse way of dealing with our resources. Gloucestershire needs to be at the forefront of new recycling technologies, not burning recyclables.
Read more in the article printed in the Stroud News & Journal on 6 Mar 2013.
The Cotswold Beechwoods are downwind from Javelin Park, and therefore most likely to be affected by ozone forming as result of emissions from an incinerator there.
Ozone is “formed by the action of sunlight on oxides of nitrogen (mainly from vehicle emissions and industry) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (mainly from vehicles, solvents and industry)…..Peak ozone formation takes place downwind of precursor sources in sunny weather with low wind speeds.” (APIS, 2011)
“[Ozone] has direct effects on leaf structure and physiology and causes visible leaf damage and reductions in growth and yield in sensitive plant species. These may lead to long-term effects on ecosystem structure and function.” (Royal Society, 2008)
The Urbaser Balfour Beatty public exhibition material shows that there would be over 200 lorries a day and nearly 1 every minute at peak times. Round trips would be up to 80 miles.