Friday, 1 October 2010

Who says there's no one listening?

NO2INCINERATOR are very pleased to welcome the new initiative from Leeds City Council to promote a REAL consultation process on the building of a PFI funded Municipal Incinerator at either the Cross Green Wholesale Market site or the Knostrop site near by.

As many of you who follow us regularly will know, we have campaigned long and hard for better consultations on this subject and we have even staged two Public Meetings of our own because we felt so strongly that the residents of the area have not been asked for their opinions or given a real chance to ask difficult and important questions. Early evening meetings on dark winter nights in pokey little rooms in Community Centres for an invited audience only was not our idea of consultation at all!

We urge as many of you as possible to go along to these meetings and listen to what is being said. But please remember that Susan Upton and her team have already made up their minds on the value of an incinerator in Richmond Hill, so please check out other sources of information on the subject as well, after all they are hardly going to explain the drawbacks of some PFI contracts or the negative impact of such a scheme on the regeneration prospects of the area now are they. The disruptive affects of noise, traffic, and possible pollution issues will not sell the idea to the community though, if you live close to either of these sites you will hardly need to have them explained I'm sure.

Everyone agrees that the waste problem in Leeds must be tackled now, for the sake of our pockets and our children's futures, and NIMBYism and Luddite behaviour will not help, however it makes no sense at all to lock ourselves into an inflexible 25/30 year contract in such a shifting market.

Re-use and recycling MUST be the most important planks of any waste strategy for the future, with the carrot and stick approach from the council to back it up. The success of the recent pilot project in Rothwell to collect kitchen waste for composting shows the willingness of the people of Leeds to recycle even more if given the opportunity. Slop buckets in the kitchen and regular curb-side collections of ALL recyclable materials surely makes more sense than burying valuable materials in the ground or setting fire to them.


  1. Waste is a problem for communities and the environment. But the council can do much more: why not put more recycling facilities in neighbourhoods so that people can recycle glass as well as cardboard? In our area most people have no cars, and glass goes in the black bin along with regular waste. Just one example of failed waste management.

  2. I could not agree more, more kerb side collections of different recyclable materials is certainly the way to go, especially in areas like ours where car ownership is very low, but also link it with rewards and incentives to do more.
    A reward points scheme, more points for more recycling, is a really good idea. The points could be used to purchase goods and/or services in the local community, helping local businesses, local recycling rates and the environment! The bins are already chipped so this can be done. Offer a mixture of carrot and stick, to both residents and businesses, and you WILL be able to recycle a lot more waste.
    Whichever way we decide to deal with waste, and deal with it we must, we must look properly before we leap and I feel that council officers are totally blinkered on incineration, they have nailed their colours to the mast and as far as they are concerned that is that! However if we commit to this large, expensive and long running incinerator project where would the drive for recycling come from - in fact it would very much be against the council's interests to try to improve recycling and deprive the inincerator of its optimum amount of raw product.