There is a place for incineration

PUBLISHED: 16:57 18 January 2007 | UPDATED: 22:30 28 May 2010

I HAVE received a number of letters regarding the new proposed Waste Directive being discussed in the European Parliament. The problem people mainly have with the new proposed directive is the effect it will have on the definition of incinerators by nami

I HAVE received a number of letters regarding the new proposed Waste Directive being discussed in the European Parliament.

The problem people mainly have with the new proposed directive is the effect it will have on the definition of incinerators by naming them as recovery operations. Incineration is preferable to the use of landfill because energy can be recovered from it and re-used, instead of it being purely a method of disposal.

The main concerns people have are harm to human health and the environment through exposure to carcinogens. With new incinerator technology and the different laws in Britain and the EU which protect against harmful emissions, this is not the case.

In 2000 the Department of Health's Committee on Carcinogenicity published a statement concluding that: "Any potential risk of cancer due to residency (for periods in excess of 10 years) near to municipal solid waste incinerators was exceedingly low and probably not measurable by the most modern techniques."

I think that the positives gained through the use of incineration, for example it being a more environmentally friendly option than landfill, outweigh the negatives of unsubstantiated health risks.

There is a place for the use of incineration in waste treatment alongside recycling methods already implemented. While I agree that recycling is very important and has a role to play, at the moment there is a place for incineration alongside these practices.

ROBERT STURDY

Conservative MEP

Eastern Region

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