LEADERS of Stroud District Council and the area’s MP have called Javelin Park ‘a disaster’ as the controversial incinerator begins operating this week.
The incinerator, which has been built at Javelin Park, north of Stonehouse, is starting operations this week.
A statement from SDC said the authority has “consistently opposed the Gloucestershire County Council‘s plans to incinerate the county’s waste”.
Council leaders Doina Cornell (Labour), Martin Whiteside (Green) and Ken Tucker (Liberal Democrat) said in a joint statement: “The incinerator is a disaster. It is expensive to run, the contract undermines attempts to reduce the amount of waste we produce and recycle, and will undermine our commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030 and tackle climate change.”
Non-recyclable household waste from the Stroud district will be delivered to Javelin Park from today (Tuesday July 2).
A SDC spokesman said: “This is in response to a directive made by Gloucestershire County Council which is the Waste Disposal Authority and is not a decision over which Stroud District Council has any control.”
The council leaders added: “Although we have a legal duty to take our household waste to Javelin Park we will do everything we can to ensure that the least amount possible is sent for incineration. The public can help by thinking carefully about what they buy, rejecting non-recyclable packaging, and by recycling as much as possible.
“We will do our best to ensure that waste collections take place as normal by working with other districts and our partner Ubico.
“Food waste and recyclable waste will continue to be collected and treated separately and will not be sent to the incinerator.”
Stroud’s Labour MP David Drew has also criticised Javelin Park.
He said: “It is terrible timing that Gloucestershire’s incinerator is coming into operation just as parliament has declared a climate emergency and at the start of Plastic-Free July. Just when we are trying to reduce plastics, Gloucestershire is saddled with an incinerator which will require us to feed it with enough rubbish to burn.”
Mr Drew has been working with scientists for the last two years to look at the impact of incineration on air quality. Their report is due later this summer.
“Javelin Park incinerator is not just a blight on Gloucestershire’s landscape, it is also out-of-date and environmentally and economically disastrous,” said Mr Drew.
“This is not good value for money. We will end up with the taxpayer subsidising the private sector.
“I am also gravely concerned about the impact that Javelin Park will have on Gloucestershire’s air quality.”
Defending the incinerator, a Gloucestershire County Council spokesman said: “These waste deliveries mark the beginning of a new way to treat the county’s household waste that can’t be reduced, reused or recycled.
“It will reduce carbon emissions by 40,000 tonnes a year and save taxpayers £100million over the next 25 years.”