Row over our rubbish: the group of MPs calling for a halt to new incinerators

A group of MPs has called for a halt to the building of any new incinerators, saying their emmissions have the potential to cause serious health issues on neighbouring communities. 

The UK's capacity to burn waste is set to double over the next decade. But the body which represents the industry claims they are still a safe and effective way of dealing with rubbish which can't be recycled. 

There are currently four incineration sites serving the Anglia region, with another planned for Wisbech. The developers behind the proposals, MMV Environment Ltd, say it is a much better way of disposing of the waste that can't be recycled which then ends up in landfill sites. The Managing Director Paul Carey says that more than 10 million tonnes of waste in the UK still goes to landfill.

"Not so very far away at Eye near there is a very large landfill and it is things like that that need to be phased out, we're not competing against recycling we are competing against landfill."

Plans to build a new incinerator in Wisbech have attracted local protests Credit: ITV News Anglia

However local protesters have called the plans "fundamentally wrong."

Campaigners against the proposals for the incinerator in Wisbech, which would be one of the largest in Europe, say it would bring hundreds of lorries to the town every day and the area does not have the infrastructure to cope with that level of traffic.

They are calling for residents to put pressure on their MPs to resist the proposal. Just last month, a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution says construction of new incinerators should be halted due to concerns over public health and environmental impacts.

The Labour MP Geraint Davies MP sits on the group.

"Well, the incineration has caused much, much more carbon than other forms of energy production. Incineration causes air pollution in particulates, ultra-fine particulates to do the most damage our report showed and these incinerators being placed in the poorest urban communities where potentially they could do the most harm." 

Developers say incinerators are a better way of disposing of waste than landfill sites

The report has been criticised by those in the industry - saying it bases its claims on a narrow body of evidence. 

The trade body which represents the waste industry says incinerator sites are very strictly monitored for emissions and newer sites are trying to develop better carbon capture technology. 

Jacob Hayler, from the Environmental Services Association told ITV News:

"There will always be some waste that's left over that we can't recycle. And these facilities, these energy from waste facilities, they are the most environmentally beneficial option for treating our residual waste. Much better than Sending it to landfill and sticking it in a hole in the ground."

"But once those have been built, there will only be the need for a few more because.. we'll be recycling a lot more and that's, as far as we'll need to go, we moved towards a greener future. We'll see new and inventive ways of dealing with waste, which may eliminate the need for incinerators."