A public exhibition about Horsham’s proposed new waste incinerator, is due to be held on Saturday 22 April 10.30am to 3.30pm at Tanbridge House School, Farthings Hill, Guildford Road, Horsham RH12 1SR. The exhibition provides the first opportunity in more than 5 years for the public to engage directly with the owners, constructors and operators of the proposed incinerator, about this life-changing project.
The project has been controversial from the outset, with much public opposition, and was only approved on appeal after a public inquiry. It has now been revealed the incinerator will burn more waste than originally suggested.
Community Group Ni4H (No Incinerator for Horsham) consider it ironic that the exhibition coincides with the Big One, a massive, peaceful mobilisation for climate justice and action, involving 70+ organisations in London that same weekend. Incinerators are known major emitters of greenhouse gases.
The Planning Inspector who chaired the Public Inquiry stated “It is estimated that around 50,000 tonnes per annum would be recycled with the remaining 180,000 tonnes per annum of residual waste being combusted …” However, Qair, the new owners, now say that “although the estimate of 50,000 tonnes per annum of recycling was the intended original purpose of the overall scheme, the project will receive up to 230,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste to be processed.”
An Ni4H (No Incinerator 4 Horsham Community Group) spokesperson commented that: “It is disappointing that it is intended to burn more waste in the proposed incinerator, with around 25% of the waste left as ash at the end of the process, a portion of which is classified as hazardous. Also, despite being called ‘energy from waste’, we fear that the proposed incinerator is unlikely to be in the right location for it to be economically viable for the heat it generates to be used”, Ni4H added that: “we have discovered that West Sussex County Council is in the process of reletting the contract for the transport and disposal of Refused Derived Fuel created at the BIFFA MBT plant adjacent to the proposed incinerator site and will be interested to see who gets the contract.”
UKWIN (United Kingdom Without Incineration Network) said: “It is time for those investing in waste burners to realise that the age of incineration is over. The era of local councils taking on all the feedstock and legislative risk is long gone, and the prospect for new plants is not particularly rosy. With falling quantities of residual waste and emerging proposals for the ‘polluter pays’ principle finally being applied to the fossil CO2 emissions through the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, the prospect of new plants becoming ‘stranded assets’ is greater than ever. Government measures such as consistent collections, Extended Producer Responsibility and the plastic packaging tax make clear that investment should be directed towards the top tiers of the waste hierarchy, not on exacerbating incineration overcapacity.”
Key Conservative MPs, whose constituencies are impacted by incinerators, including Horsham MP, Jeremy Quin, are being encouraged to demand the fiscal disincentivising of so-called Energy from Waste plants, by calling for Incineration Tax legislation similar to the current Landfill Tax. An Incineration Tax would encourage more sustainable alternatives of waste management that can help prevent emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce pollutants.