An anti-incineration campaign group is holding a public meeting to look at whether the Council really needs to build a £900 million burner for our waste.
The public meeting has been organised by YRAIN (York Residents Against Incineration) – part of mounting opposition from across North Yorkshire. The meeting will take place from 7:30 on September 13th at the Friends’ Meeting House on Friargate.
“This is the last chance for York residents to get their concerns across to Councillors, before they sign on the dotted line later this year,” said YRAIN campaigner Richard Lane. “They have shown that they aren’t really interested in what we think – we have to make them listen.”
York Residents Against Incineration was set up in January 2006 in response to a council consultation on waste policy which offered residents a choice between two different flavours of incinerator. In June 2006 YRAIN presented a 400-signature petition to the Council Executive, calling for the Council to explicitly reject incineration as a means of waste disposal, as other Councils have done in the UK and across the world. But in October 2007, York Council signed up to a ‘technology neutral’ waste policy.
“The Councils basically said ‘we’ll go with whatever you want’ to the waste companies,” says Richard Lane. “It was no surprise that they all came back with plans for big burners. It’s easy and profitable to build an incinerator – just stack up the rubbish and send it up the chimney for the next 25 years. But we need to do better than this – we need to protect recycling, reduce greenhouse gases, and reduce waste. That is the sustainable route, but unfortunately also the less profitable one. Private operators looking to turn a buck will not do this without political leadership, and this has been sadly lacking.”
Addressing the meeting will be North Yorkshire Councillor John Savage, who represents the Ainsty division adjoining the proposed incinerator site, and as such has liased with the various opposition groups, such as the North Yorkshire Waste Action Group and DISC. Joining Cllr Savage will be York’s own Councillor Andy D’Agorne, leader of the Green Group.
Councillor Ann Reid has also been invited to address the meeting. Councillor Reid is the sole elected representative of the City of York on the ‘waste partnership’ board that has overseen the development of the scheme.
The meeting will hear how other councils have managed without resorting to incineration, and what a sustainable ‘zero waste’ policy looks like. Entrance to the meeting is free.