Incinerator proposal for Alfreton Road premises
In October 2016 a planning application was submitted to Derby City Council by Envirofusion Ltd to build and test a waste incinerator plant (including the erection of a 20 metre high chimney) on Alfreton Road (to the rear of ETS Tyres). The scheme would be the first phase of a project that, if successful, and safe would convert waste to electricity.
Most people living in Chester Green and surrounding area were completely unaware of the application. This was probably due to the obscure description of the proposal ("Development of facilities to enable the testing of a new technology based on a pyrothermic conversion process utilising RDF for a temporary period of 18 months") and local residents were not directly notified unless they lived less than 15 metres away i.e. no-one. 29 objections to the scheme were made by members of environmental groups in the city. The public consultation closure has been extended from 22/11/16 and is now 11/01/17. It is now likely that the application will be decided by councillors on the Planning Committee. (date to be confirmed)
Background and Concerns about Waste Incineration
In the UK, non-recycled household waste has been buried in landfill sites. Existing sites are getting full and landfill taxes have been introduced by the government to discourage land filling and encourage increased reuse and recycling. Over recent years there has been large investment by the private sector in development of 'waste to energy' technology which generates electricity from burning non-recycled waste at high temperatures.
Environmentalists argue that incineration of waste which includes plastics emits carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide which adversely affect climate, flood risk, air quality and respiratory conditions and emits dioxins which increase birth defects and deaths from cancer. Objectors argue that there have been breaches of emissions regulations at other sites eg. Isle of Wight ; that dioxin emissions are greatest on start-up and and that biannual 'pre-warned' monitoring by the Environment Agency does not produce representative emissions data.
They also contend that increased waste incineration leads to a reduction in recycling rates. They believe that 70% recycling rates are achievable; Derby City recycling rates have 42% in 2014 to 32% in 2015 since the withdrawal of blue bin recycling in some areas and the introduction of charging for brown bin recycling.
In common with many other local authorities, Derbyshire and Derby City Councils signed a 27 year contract with a waste processing company, RRS Ltd, who subsequently submitted a planning application to build a large waste to energy incinerator at Sinfin Lane. This was met with large numbers of objections from local residents and environmental groups.
DCC's Planning Committee refused planning permission due to concerns about the environmental impacts. Following an appeal and several High Court hearings and a large legal bill paid by the two councils, the Secretary of State approved the waste plant which is currently under construction, although Energos, the energy conversion consultants involved went into administration in July 2016.This may delay the planned Spring 2017 commencement of incineration and the associated cost savings. Reports in the media say that the two councils funded £50 million of the £180 million cost of building the Sinfin Lane plant and are expecting £2.5 million cost savings per year over 27 years.
Concerns about Envirofusion's Waste Incineration proposal
A major benefit of 'waste to energy' incineration is the creation of electricity, but that will not be the case in Envirofusion's current application, in this first phase of the project. The heat generated will be dissipated using air blast coolers as they say they will be testing whether the thermal process and downstream system will meet commercial targets and regulatory requirements. The plant is planned to operate for 100 hours per week Monday 8.00am to Friday noon, 24 hours per day and to incinerate approx. 14000 tonnes per annum. This equates to about 20% of the City's non-recycled waste and would generate a significant saving in landfill tax.
Envirofusion say that the process is clean and efficient and the impact on air quality would not be significant.
There are concerns that the incinerator location is close to residential properties (in Chester Green and Darley Abbey), a World Heritage Site, parkland and sports and leisure areas, the river Derwent and a nature reserve. There are also concerns that any disruption to the 'experimental' process could result in a build up of untreated waste and a repeat of the recent 'Mackworth fly infestation'.
You can see details of the application online at derby.gov.uk on the e-planning portal using planning application reference 10/16/01241. If you are concerned and would like to comment or object you can do so online at derby.gov.uk until 11/1/17 or write to the Council House or email
Arran.Knight@derby.gov.uk quoting 10/16/01241, your name and address.
You may want to copy in Darley Ward Councillor Martin Repton. firstname.lastname@example.org