Anti-gasification campaign heats up

Members of Zero Waste North West launch their Gasification = Incineration Say No Again campaign at Free Derry Corner. (3004PG101)

Members of Zero Waste North West launch their Gasification = Incineration Say No Again campaign at Free Derry Corner. (3004PG101)

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Those opposed to the building of a gasification waste management plant, yesterday took their campaign to the streets of Derry.

Pressure group, Zero Waste North West (ZWNW), unveiled a mural at Free Derry Corner highlighting their opposition to any such facility.

The protests follow the controversial decision to grant planning permission to a £1/2billion gasification waste management plant at Electra Road, Maydown. No public consultation had occurred prior to the development being given the green light.

The mural is also designed to encourage people to register their own protest at the proposed plant online at www.derryair.eu The group are to hand in the first one thousand signatures from their petition to Derry City Council this week.

A spokesperson for ZWNW confirmed that the group are already busy securing the second set of one thousand signatures to their petition. They told the ‘Journal:’ “This is an appeal to the public to support the petition and to encourage council to go at this matter in a different way. The waste management issue needs resolved in a different way. We are keen to work with the Council and councillors and hopefully steer them toward zero waste.

“Incineration is not the way forward. The process will admit toxins into the air. It will cause pollution as well as having a detrimental effect on the rates of recycling locally.

“We would prefer that the emphasis was placed on recycling schemes and higher recycling rates. When built these facilities will need a certain tonnage of waste to burn, waste which could be recycled. This will have detrimental effect on recycling rates.

“It is our position that incineration is incineration. Derry opposed this in the past and we are calling on them to help us do the same this time around.

“The scientific fact of the matter is that it is impossible to convert thousands of tonnes of rubbish into nothing.

“Gasification is being presented as energy from waste and we are being told that it is somehow a scientific advance on incineration when in fact from the point of view of the environment and public health there’s little difference. Unlike traditional mass-burn incineration, gasification heats the waste to a high temperature while restricting the amount of oxygen needed for it to burn. This process transforms it into a gas. But given the gas is then burned to generate some electricity, it amounts to incineration and both processes are classified as incineration in the EU Waste Incineration Directive.”