You can help bin this monstrous scheme
Bin The Incinerator is a campaign by concerned Hampshire residents and farmers to stop US firm Wheelabrator building a massive incinerator in the heart of the beautiful and environmentally sensitive Test Valley.
The campaign, launched by the Keep Test Valley Beautiful Group, is working to raise funds to fight the proposal with specialist research by experts who are leaders in various fields.
Areas under examination include visual impact on the landscape, pollution and its potential impact on health; the effect on global warming; traffic congestion; the effects on our wildlife and the strain on our water supplies – which are already under stress.
We believe that building an incinerator with a potential life of up to 50 years clashes with a Government pledge for the UK to become net carbon neutral in just over 30 years.
It just doesn’t add up
Reasons to say no
1. It’s in the wrong place
Hampshire CC already handles its own household waste. This plant would burn half a million tons yearly of someone else’s rubbish from up to two hours’ drive away. A 5-mile (8km) trench will have to be dug past Andover to reach the National Grid. The plant will need to be ‘Combined Heat and Power’ (CHP) capable, but so far, no plans have been disclosed for using any of the spare heat generated.
2. It’s in the wrong place
The structure would be a massive eyesore, large enough to enclose Winchester cathedral twice over! Two chimneys up to 80 meters tall will tower over the building, with a plume of steam that on clear days would be visible from many miles away. The site is only 2 miles from the North Wessex Downs area of outstanding Natural Beauty
3. It’s in the wrong place
Approaching 400 vehicle movements over 24 hours, mostly heavy lorries, will add to the considerable Raymond Brown’s “Enviropark” traffic will make the already congested A303 and A.34 even busier. That is approximately one movement every four minutes.
4. It’s in the wrong place
Wheelabrator say it’s “clean”. But some -including the Soil Association – say that it is not green. CO2, NOX and dioxins would leave the chimneys at legal levels, but could in time build up on the surrounding land, water, villages and towns. Environmental groups claim that the gasses emitted would add more to global warming per unit of electricity created than either coal or oil powered generation.
5. It’s in the wrong place
Most incinerators are built on industrial sites. This is a greenfield site, a mile or less to houses and schools. Whitchurch is only 3 ½ miles away and a large organic farm 5 ½ miles away, both downwind. Department of Environment figures show particulate pollution figures in Whitchurch are already approaching World Health Authority recommended maximum.
6. It’s in the wrong place
Visitors spend millions of pounds a year in the Test Valley area. This monster could make them drive on by on the A.303 “highway to the sun”.
7. It doesn’t make climate sense
The Government has pledged to make the UK net carbon neutral by 2050. This plant would add to global warming for at least 25 years, possibly 50.
What others are saying
Soil Association position on Municipal waste Incinerators
“As with all environmental groups, we are clear that the priority is investment in renewable energy sources and burning municipal waste, particularly that which can be re-used or re-cycled, is not a sustainable option. The Soil Association supports the European Waste Hierarchy of the EU Waste Framework Directive which states that the order of priority should be to first prevent and reduce and then to reuse, recycle and recover – before burning waste.
We believe that incinerators are a disincentive for these higher priorities. Furthermore, burning wastes at high temperatures results in the release of heavy metals, acid gases, toxic particulates and pollutants through atmospheric emissions and ash production. Although improvements in cleaning technologies have meant reductions in pollution rates, the Soil Association is concerned about remaining levels of pollution, particularly of reports that regulated levels may be breached due to temperature fluctuations and at start-up and shut-down . This could result in the contamination of soils, water and food.”
Council For The Protection Of Rural England
CPRE Hampshire has serious concerns about the suitability of this site on the basis of two key areas of potential impact: Landscape and Water (eco-system services):
The proposed 55-metre-tall building, with chimneys erected to 100 metres is on high ground overlooking the Rivers Test and Dever. It is only some 3km south of the boundary of the North Wessex Downs AONB, from which views could be adversely affected by the chimneys and the size of the proposed building. The structure will be clearly visible from parts of the nearby villages of Barton Stacey and Longparish, as well as from stretches of the Test and Dever rivers. There will also be a potential landscape impact over a wider area.
The Test Valley is popular with walkers, cyclists, horse riders and tourists. The River Test attracts Trout Fisherman locally and from around the world on the basis of its status as one of the best examples of the few remaining chalk streams.
Water (Eco-Systems Services)
Test Valley is an area of acute water stress, and CPRE Hampshire has strong concerns about the Water implications of the proposed Incinerator that are yet to be addressed by Wheelabrator Technologies. CPRE Hampshire is predisposed to a view that the potential Water impact, in terms of quantity, quality, drainage and flood issues in the locality, poses a significant obstacle to the proposal at this site.
Road Haulage Association
The A34 both North and South is a nightmare, just not fit for purpose and neither is much of the A303. Neither road was built to handle modern volumes of traffic and badly need upgrading. The roads have not kept pace with modern traffic volumes. but as I understand it, they are not on the Department for Transport’s list for immediate upgrading because they are concentrating on the expressway between Oxford and Cambridge. When that road comes along, we don’t think it will make much difference to the A.34 which brings traffic down to the ports from the north and Midlands.
The A34 is the main artery from South Coast to Midlands and it’s imperative it is kept free flowing, congestion and delays have a serious impact, not only on our industry but there are also financial consequences to the local economy. The haulage industry suffers through missing timed booked deliveries and with drivers running out of their regulated hours, once stuck in traffic on the A34, there are no viable, alternative diversion routes for HGV’s, due to various weight limits and height restrictions, in the surrounding villages.
The A34 is often blocked by accidents. It should be improved to three lanes, but I realise that is not likely to happen so crawler lanes should be put in, at least where there are inclines.
Background information and state of play in the UK and Europe
Municipal waste incinerators are seen by some as an attractive alternative to sending waste to landfills. It’s claimed that burning waste saves landfill space, offers a way to treat toxic waste and also replaces the methane emitted from landfill sites with CO2, a much less potent greenhouse gas. Most notably, it is also promoted as a way to produce energy, extracted during the process of incineration. Municipal incinerators are however often wrongly promoted as creating green energy. Energy efficiency in incinerators is also poor (10-15%) and a report in 2008 suggests GHG emissions from incinerators are higher than that of gas power plants.
Incinerators are large-scale, requiring large tonnages of waste and are seen as an attractive option to local authorities as a single answer to waste problems. They are therefore widely recognised as acting as a disincentive to reducing, reusing, recycling and composting policies and result in the burning of waste that should be seen as a resource, and thereby threatening the recycling goals of the EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD). Furthermore, burning imported waste contradicts the WFD’s ‘principle of proximity’, which says that waste should be dealt with near its source.
In addition to these concerns are lingering worries over the health and environmental impacts of incinerators. Burning waste results in the production of toxic ash and the atmospheric release of heavy metals, acid gases, toxic particulates and pollutants; including highly carcinogenic dioxins. The use of modern monitoring, cleaning and treatment systems required by the EU Waste Incineration Directive was transposed into UK law in 2007. This has improved pollution levels, but concerns still remain. In particular, there are some worries that toxic ash may not be dealt with effectively and safely. There have been examples of UK incinerators where certain pollutants have been released above accepted levels; possible due to temperature fluctuations.There are also concerns from research outside the UK, that pollutants may be emitted at higher amounts during start-up and shut-down .
How can you help?
We need funds to fight this proposal.
Your donation will help pay for campaign materials and help fund the best professional advice about areas such as the effect on wildlife, potential air pollution and the impact on the aquifer. Evidence, in the form of an environmental report, can cost more than £10,000.
Please donate £5, £10 or £1,000 – whatever you can afford.
Please click the “donate” button.
Email your MPs and local councillors with your concerns and questions: You can find their email addresses here
We would love to hear from you if you can spare some time to help us with the campaign. Perhaps you have specialist industry knowledge, or would just like to help posting leaflets or manning our stand at local fetes.
Please do get in touch on our contact page, or click here
Join the discussion on Facebook: Share information and stories to help other people to be aware of the scale, scope and implications of this major development in this rural area.
Who are we?
We are a group of concerned people who firmly believe that , not only is this the wrong place for an incinerator but that burning waste is an old technology that discourages policy makers and industry from the importance of developing new ways to recycle and reuse what is now considered to be waste. Our group includes people with a wide variety of skills and a broad spectrum of experience.
The Keep Test Valley Beautiful team is aware of the widespread anxiety about the proposed Incinerator between the villages of Barton Stacey and Longparish in the heart of beautiful Hampshire countryside.
Concern has also been expressed by people living in Whitchurch, Andover, Winchester, Overton, Wherwell Sutton Scotney and many other communities.
The future of burning waste is currently under question in the UK and other countries, as it pollutes the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.
Use the form to contact us with any comments or requests for more information.
The campaign to ‘BIN THE INCINERATOR’ is being pursued with energy and determination, but needs help with funding.
Donations will help pay for expert advice about the impact on air quality, flora and fauna, the local aquifer and rivers as well as passing on information through promotional material.
Please donate to help us defeat this monstrous scheme.