Monday, September 1, 2003

Press Release: Sheffield to become the rubbish dump of South Yorkshire

Press Release

For immediate release

Sheffield to become the rubbish dump of South Yorkshire

The waste strategy for Yorkshire and Humberside has recently been published and it has some worrying news for the people of Sheffield. It states that by 2015/16 the entire region will only need 5 incinerators of 150,000 tonnes capacity per year.  A quick calculation shows that if the proposed new 225,000 tonnes per annum incinerator at Bernard Road is working at capacity, it will be burning almost one third of Yorkshire and Humberside's household waste! This means that Sheffield will be importing huge amounts of waste from around the region.

It seems that ONYX, the private company that manages Sheffield's waste, and the City Council are determined to push ahead with this unwanted and unpopular incinerator. But at a regional level policy-makers are willing to listen to new ideas. The draft policy initially rubbished the Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) of unrecycled household waste, as an 'emerging technology' unlikely to be of use in the next 10-15 years.  After information provided by Sheffield Friends of the Earth, it now states the process is likely to become technically feasible and commercially viable and so offer a more sustainable option.  MBT can reduce the quantity and degradability of waste going to landfill.

It is to be hoped that Sheffield Council and Onyx take notice of the changes in this report.  Both parties need to reconsider the decision to saddle Sheffield with an expensive incinerator that will almost certainly become an unviable method of waste disposal within the next few years. Only a change to some form of small-scale local MBT plants will prevent Sheffield becoming the rubbish dump of South Yorkshire.

Maureen Edwards, Sheffield Friends of the Earth Waste Campaigner, said: "If the new Bernard Road incinerator is built it could end up taking one third of the waste produced in the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside. This reallywould mean Sheffield becoming the dustbin of Yorkshire"

Contact details:                        Maureen Edwards

Sheffield Friends of the Earth Waste Campaigner

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