London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, has challenged Novera Energy over its proposals for what it claims to be is a 'sustainable' solution for London's waste, a gasification plant in Rainham, London Borough of Havering.
To work efficiently the plant would need a constant supply of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) that must include a significant amount of plastic and paper. Novera's own non-technical summary of its environmental statement acknowledges that the SRF feedstock 'will largely be made up of paper, textiles, wood and plastic' which Jean fears will ultimately mean less material being recycled.
Jean, who has submitted a formal objection to the plant, said the proposal raised questions over London's commitment to a sustainable waste strategy; "Though the technology of the proposed plant is not identical to a mass-burn incinerator, the EU Waste Directive's definition of incineration does cover Novera Energy's proposals. Given the facility's feedstock requirements, we are in danger of redirecting recyclable materials away from recycling."
"Recent criticisms over the implementation of a sustainable water strategy for the Thames Gateway area have lead to warnings that we cannot build more houses in London or the South-East. If we cant deal with our waste in a sustainable way either further developments in the Thames Gateway area will almost certainly run into real problems. London has made significant progress increasing levels of recycling and is now on the way to meeting recycling targets. We simple cannot undermine this with a gasification plant that really is another excuse for incineration."
Jean concluded her objection by questioning the impact the gasification plant would have on air quality in the London Borough of Havering that is already in breach of EU standards.
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.