Opposing NYCC’s Plan

Opposing NYCC’s waste management plan

We have been looking carefully at NYCC’s waste management plan. We believe the plan is fatally flawed and should be stopped immediately, pending a thorough review of their central justification.

How to oppose the AmeyCespa incinerator application

Our reasons for opposing this incinerator include:

• The proposed scheme will cause serious harm to the landscape, environment and economy
• Mitigation proposals are inadequate to offset this harm
• Need is not proven; the facility is too large, no business case is provided
• The case for the selected technology is not made
• The case for a single site is not made
• The proposal is contrary to local, regional and national/EU policies
• There will be significant adverse climate change impacts
• The proposal will not maximise energy recovery from waste
• There has been no proper public consultation
• There will be adverse impacts on protected wildlife species
• There will be significant traffic impacts, notably on the A59/A168
• Cumulative impacts of this proposal alongside other similar proposals for the area are not assessed

Public Inquiry

The request for a call-in to public inquiry has been refused we are now seeking a public inquiry

Why is the deal a bad one?

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is about to commit us (every single taxpayer) to a 25 year deal with AmeyCespa to divert all of our non-recycled waste to a huge centralised facility. NYCC claim we need to do this because it will be more expensive to pay the increasing landfill tax. This would be true if we carried on as we are. However, there are other better options that they are not presenting to the final decision makers – all of our county councillors.

Our county councillors were recently presented with these options as being the only two options by the pro-lobby in county hall:

Option 1: Commit to a £900 million spend over 25 years

Option 2: A ‘do the minimum’ scenario in which no significant effort is made to reduce waste arising or increase recycling.

Option 2 was presented as costing us an extra £8 million per annum. Crucially these figures are based on achieving a recycling rate of 50% only in the next 25 years! We’re not far from that figure today, and South Oxfordshire is at 70% now!!

Using some simple arithmetic – if we increased recyling to a more reasonable 60% the amount of non-recylable waste would drop by 20%, actually making option 2 cheaper! And since there is no pay back in the early years of this kind of project, we can easily afford to carry on landfilling until we’ve sorted out a better plan. Of course we fully understand, and think most people would agree, that the use of landfill is not a sensible solution in the long term.

Make no mistake – this is a risky financial deal and a highly skewed picture of it is being presented to our county councillors in order to get them to sign up to it. On these grounds alone we are against this deal.

There are other compelling reasons to oppose the plan:

  • This proposal is in opposition to the new government’s position on waste management in which they call for a “zero waste” strategy.
  • The proposed facility locks us into outdated technology (incineration) for 25 years and the proposed use of incineration is itself about the worst thing you can do for CO2 emissions, which we’re all supposed to be so concerned about.
  • We are locked into a 25 year financial deal. We pay regardless of whatever changes occur in the future, such as positive changes in behaviour that result in dramatically reduced amounts of non-recyclable waste.
  • The deal acts as a massive disincentive to do the things that society is now really in favour of – namely reducing waste (less packaging for example) and increasing recycling.
  • The deal does nothing or little to benefit the local Yorkshire economy.
  • The deal centralises waste disposal when we should be de-centralising and dealing with the waste in smaller facilities, run by local companies that can react quickly to changing waste management technologies.

We call on NYCC to:

  • Implement a moratorium on the current plan and look at the waste management requirements again in the light of recent technological developments and best worldwide practice.
  • Take a lead in the country, setting and achieving much more aggressive recycling
    targets. Some parts of the county have already exceeded NYCC’s target of 50% by 2020. Ryedale
    are at 51% NOW! Why isn’t the target much higher? Today, South Oxfordshire and San Francisco are achieving 70% and 72% recycling rates respectively!

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