Esther is demanding Government set out reasons why new waste incinerators are being given the green light when it is committed to increasing recycling levels and delivering on zero net emissions.
The Tatton MP said waste to energy plants such as those at Lostock Works – which she opposes – are contraindicative of Government policy and fears waste will need to be imported to keep the site incinerator running.
She previously asked Cheshire West and Cheshire Council to conduct an environmental impact assessment amid concerns about air quality but was told it was not needed. She is now raising wider issues around incineration and air quality with Government.
Ms McVey said: “An incinerator cannot be switched off when there is no rubbish so it will need to have a constant stream of rubbish coming on to the site to keep it operational, in effect fed. We have seen from other countries the problems large incinerators can cause. Denmark reported it imports waste with a high content of plastic in order to use the excess capacity at the incineration plant causing increased CO2 emissions and this is something we cannot allow to happen here.”
Ms McVey has tabled questions to Government ministers in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy calling for answers on the effectiveness of waste incinerators as part of Government’s recycling and emission reduction strategies and for the reason why it is not included in the UK Emission Trading Scheme for 2021 to 2025 and what provisions are in place for ongoing monitoring of air quality.
Ms McVey said: “I very much oppose the incinerator and am disappointed my concerns are not shared by Cheshire West and Chester Council as when I called for an environmental impact assessment, I was told there was no need. While I have always opposed this, given it is going ahead we must do everything we can to ensure the health of residents is protected and monitored. I am taking matters up with Government as at a time when we are all being told to recycle more, take care of the environment and reduce carbon emissions, it makes no sense this incinerator can go ahead.”
The UK Emission Trading Scheme caps the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted from certain sectors including power generation and aviation. Caps are reduced over time leading to a fall in emissions to meet the zero net target.