In response to Geoffrey Cohen’s letter of January 30 about the Rivenhall incinerator plan, what you need to allow for here is that the waste that does go from Essex goes to existing facilities overseas, so why build new ones?

The original philosophy in 2010 was a waste plant sized for Essex in Essex and this is not the case now, greed has increased the size.

We have 2.7M TPA overcapacity in the UK (EA figures). It’s being built simply for profit so the money can be made by Gent Fairhead at the expense of our environment.

ECC stated in its refusal of the stack in May 2019 that Essex did not need the incinerator.

It also has a capacity of 600,000 tonnes so most of the waste will come in on trucks adding to the environmental loading by some 3m litre diesel, and 2m truck miles a year average and on the A120 as the new road will not be built for some 10-15 years!.

In addition, it will produce 500,000 tonnes of CO2 - the same as 165,000 cars doing 12,000 miles a year around Braintree district.

It does not accord with the current knowledge on air quality, small particles and an incinerator produces MORE CO2 than coal-fired power - after all it’s basically burning the same oil based fuel but is concentrated oil in in plastics .

We know we have a problem but burning plastic simply turns it into CO2 and is not the answer.

Sweden has become so good at recycling there is no fuel for their incinerators, so they import. We are not learning from their examples.

There are many third world countries using plastics to make bricks and building materials and there are solutions that turn the plastic back to its raw material so it can be reused/re-formed.

It is not ‘energy from waste’ in this case as it generates some 180MwH but only contributes 29MwH to the grid as it is so inefficient and I think their numbers for housing are wrong it’s 72 allowing for an average house to consume .4Mwh.

As we get better at re-using and recycling there will be little or no fuel for this. Comparing this to driving is unrealistic as there is a massive response to vehicular pollution as we head for electric cars and tighter pollution controls.

As an alternative it has been suggested by experts that plastic is bundled and stored in the same hole until we have a better solution, this has been proven in other sites where mining of landfill sites is now allowing for the recovery of materials that could not be recycled or recovered when the landfill was created. There are alternatives, it means lifestyle changes that people have to be prepared to make.

The arguments against incineration are stronger than those for it if you are prepared to hear them and listen.

The EA wants to permit with the 35m stack that will affect 105,000 school kids within five miles, surely prevention is better than cure and is this really the legacy we want to leave for the next generation?

How’s this for evidenced objections?

Nick Unsworth

PAIN (Parishes Against Incinerator)