Outline of Campaign Against EfW Plants Proposed For The Marston Vale
At a number of meetings attended by Parish Councils, Community Leaders, Environmental activists and local people passionate about the shape of their rural landscape MMAG has been vocal about what needs to be done. The Briefing Paper (Click Here to View) informed our contribution to the debate which has recently seen the withdrawal of Bedford and Luton Boroughs from the BEaR Project.
The campaign briefing:
- Outlines how we can campaign against the Energy from Waste Plants proposed for the Marston Vale.
- Describes the national background in which landfill is an undesirable option environmentally and penalised financially
- Describes how much waste we produce locally in Beds and Luton, how much we currently recycle and landfill, what targets we have to meet and what plans local authorities have to exceed them.
- Explains that a market has been created within which those companies that process and dispose of waste can compete – simplistically the point of the BEaR Project should be to establish a level playing field; hence the option at Brogborough although there are profound reservations about how long and at what expense BEaR have managed to not achieve a great deal.
- Now to take the sporting metaphor further Covanta have kicked the ball before the referee has blown the whistle with their proposal for Rookery Pit
- Although theoretically we could have two incinerators at both Brogborough and Rookery Pit it’s going to be difficult to see how anyone else competes with the economies of scale of the Covanta proposal.
- The Campaign Briefing goes on to describes how we mighty combine to together to organise ourselves.
- It is the view of MMAG that we form a broad based coalition rather than form another Action Group since we see no reason why we should reinvent the wheel by replicating the campaigns already undertaken, respect the fact we are distinct communities some with their own groups and some surprisingly with none.
- The Briefing is silent on timescales but any joint working should be immediate especially if a planning application is tabled.
- Describes the different audiences we need to address with an obvious need to get out into our communities with our own road shows and mobilise opposition and to get our message right and coordinated. For example its not helpful to say we have no objection to incineration in principle but not in Rookery Pit – incineration simply landfills the waste in the air and undercuts recycling and is a cop out in that the production of waste too begin with is never challenged.
- If we engage with our communities they will in turn help us. That engagement can be fun e.g. the photo competition and can show that as a community we have our own vision of what sustainability in the Marston Vale can mean.
- Our campaign will involve difficult conversations especially with our regional audiences who are exporting their waste to Rookery Pit and from time it may involve difficult conversations with each other.
- At the national level it is vital that we are able to engage with the whole strategic debate about the looming energy shortfall, renewables and climate change otherwise we will too easily appear as Nimbys, climate change deniers and not much interested in what goes on beyond the end of the street.
This won’t be easy and may take some time – however one thing is guaranteed, if we do nothing we are going to see a lot of waste coming to Bedfordshire