An incinerator in Beddington, London produces the same emissions as almost 57,000 cars, according to the South West London Air Quality Monitoring Group.
These findings are based on a report published by the Environment Agency, who said that the incinerator produced 236,396 tonnes of CO2 in 2019.
The incinerator, which burns waste from the boroughs of Kingston, Merton, Sutton and Croydon, produces some electricity, but according to the Air Quality Group if you compare it to the carbon emissions from a coal power plant it fairs badly.
Coal produces 870 grams of CO2 per unit of electricity produced, while the Beddington incinerator produces 1,302 grams per unit.
During the planning process for the incinerator, the public was told that it was the best environmental solution for dealing with waste, but Jim Duffer from the South West London Air Quality Monitoring Group, said: ‘The incinerator is pumping out way too much Greenhouse gas. Across Europe, there are recycling alternatives which are achieving great rates of 85%, compared with 50% in Sutton.
‘Recycling produces very little CO2 and materials are kept within the system in a process known as the Circular Economy. One company near Venice is aiming for 97% recycling rates next year. We don’t need this polluting incinerator and should take plastic out of its feedstock now to get these figures down straight away, and aim to close it in due course.’
‘Viridor must have known about its high carbon emissions but had the gall to ask to burn even more waste! That’s just outrageous! The decision should be reversed straight away and Viridor made to maintain their incinerator at the original frequency. We and Elliot Colburn MP have raised these points with the Environment Agency and await their response.’
In related news, as much as one billion tonnes of waste could be burned in open and uncontrolled fires around the world each year, according to one estimate close to half of all the municipal solid waste generated on Earth.
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