Saturday, 24 November 2012

Incinerator planning application

Veolia (the operators of Sheffield's Incinerator) has applied to increase the amount of waste it imports by another 15,000 tonnes annually (bringing the total imported waste to 65,000 tpa). It is also proposed to extend the catchment area to as far as Mansfield and Newark. All Sheffield Friends of the Earth members are asked to object individually to the application to show the strength of feeling in Sheffield that objects to the incinerator and all it entails.

The letter Maureen has drafted on behalf of the group is: 
To: Howard Baxter  e-mail:

Ref no: 12/03137/FUL

I write on behalf of Sheffield Friends of the Earth to express our objection to Veolia’s current application to vary Condition 3 of permission 01/10135/FUL.

In 2001 Sheffield Friends of the Earth warned of the forthcoming change in European waste legislation.  This would lead to much higher recycling rates and mean that within a few years there would not be enough waste to feed such a huge incinerator.  Sheffield Friends of the Earth recommended that if the incinerator was to be built the size should remain the same i.e. 125,000 tpa.  We were assured by Onyx that it would not be necessary to import huge amounts of waste and Condition 3 was written allaying our fears. Now we read ‘Of the ERF’s 225,00 tonne per annum permitted capacity, only approximately 110,000 to 115,000 tonnes of MSW and 50,000 to 55,000 tonnes of C&I waste are likely to be available year on year from within Sheffield.’  This phrase, on page 43 of the Supporting Statement shows that a 125,000 tpa facility would have been sufficient and recycling rates would have improved earlier due to pressure to reduce waste.

I will not expand on the greater value of recycling waste rather than burning it.  This is shown in the waste hierarchy.  It is possible to recycle up to 97% of household waste so clearly much of the waste reaching the incinerator could be more usefully dealt with.  The UK uses 2.5 planets worth of resources and the burning of waste must surely be one of the most decadent acts currently taking place.  Without the reuse of our resources we continue to use too much of the world’s cake.

We have the following particular points to make about this application:-

  • Sheffield Friends of the Earth would like to be assured that any imported waste is truly residual and cannot be recycled.  The 2007 Waste Strategy states that waste that could be recycled should not be incinerated. 
  • We would like to see Veolia attract far more local C&I waste rather than resorting to more lucrative imports.  If it priced waste disposal more attractively for C&I, there would be no need to import waste and no need for Condition 3 to be amended.  If the only alternative were to supplement feedstock with fossil fuels this would make good sense. 
  • Waste should not be transported to Sheffield ERF if another ERF is nearer.  We believe Newark and Sherwood, Amber Valley, Ashfield and Mansfield are all nearer to Nottingham’s Eastcroft incinerator.  These areas should be excluded from this permission. 
Yours sincerely

Maureen Edwards

on behalf of Sheffield Friends of the Earth