Moratorium on new waste incinerators a must, say politicians

The proposal for a large scale incinerator at Buttington quarry in Powys has been raised in the National Assembly for Wales this week (Wednesday 19th June) by a Powys Assembly Member.


During questions to Julie James, the Welsh Government Minister responsible for planning policy, the Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, Russell George asked for the Welsh Government to implement a moratorium on all new incinerators while a full and detailed review is carried out, ahead of a national waste strategy.


Broad Energy Limited is planning to submit an application for a 150,000 tonne waste incinerator (Energy Recovery Facility), located at Buttington Quarry. The size of the Buttington Incinerator means that Welsh Government Ministers, under the Developments of National Significance Process, will make the decision on its approval rather than the local planning authority.


Speaking after asking the question, Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire said:


“I believe that the Welsh Government should take some time to consider whether the current processes and rules surrounding waste incinerators are fit for purpose, and in so doing, develop a national plan. A moratorium on all new incinerators should be put in place whilst this is carried out.


“Large scale applications, such as the proposed Buttington incinerator, are now decided in Cardiff by Welsh Government Ministers, whereas previously, decisions were made at local level. I was opposed to this change. We must ensure that the decision making processes allow for communities to have a strong voice; it is local people who understand best how developments may impact them. For example, it is local people who know whether their road networks are suitable for large scale developments.”


Councillor Amanda Jenner, County Councillor for Trewern Ward in Powys, added:


“The Welsh Government needs to look at our national waste strategy as a whole, to ensure that waste is dealt with strategically and in the most environmentally conscious ways as possible. With the UK Government rightly committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050, we need to assess what impact developing more incinerators will have. Currently, the output of Co2 by incinerators is not restricted. Whilst these facilities are capable of producing energy, such production adds to greenhouse gas emissions produced in Wales.


“Furthermore, with the public becoming increasingly conscious of the waste they produce and their use of single use materials, the Welsh Government should look at whether it is right to approve any further waste incinerators, which could divert materials away from recycling. The Welsh Government, having declared a climate emergency, should embrace the opportunity to re-consider its waste strategy."