This open letter is sent in advance of the County's Planning & Licensing Committee meeting to respond to the expansion of the Eastcroft incinerator. I send this openly for simplicity and because this issue effects all of us equally. We equally have a responsibility for the future and to the people who have to live in it.
The re-submitted proposals for an increase in the incineration capacity of the Eastcroft site must be seen for what they are - a short sighted money making enterprise wrapped in the guise of an environmental necessity. It is essential that the people of Nottingham throw away greatly reduced amounts of household waste, essential also that our society re-organises to not produce waste in the first place. If you don't make it, you don't have to dump it.
This necessity has been self-evident to many environmentalist for decades and is finally being realised and accepted as a fact by the Government.
Simple maths and everyday knowledge of the way the world works tells anyone willing to learn that continued waste can not be supported in our society. Now, almost at the eleventh hour, the electorate is belatedly calling for action.
Now is not the time to find a 'business as usual' way around the issues. For many years Environmentalists have been thinking beyond these stark facts and we have found many possible solutions. Please listen to us now, we were right years ago and you ignored us, and now you realise we we right but still don't hear.
Short-termist thinking will always be able to see a way of squeezing more perceived value from existing infrastructure - expansion of Eastcroft is the most locally pressing example. The cosmetic alterations from the first application for expansion do not and indeed can not address the long term issues which have been listed by many people for so long.
To reiterate. Even the National Government states that recycling and (much more importantly) a reduction in the production of waste - is essential for this country and the world. Slowly, as if wading through treacle, the national consensus is finally moving in the right direction.
Allowing a expansion of Eastcroft will lessen the amount of waste going to landfill - it is true - But;
It will increase pollution levels in the air we breath in Nottingham. (I can often smell it - irrespective of what the claimed measured emissions may be)
It will increase greatly the road traffic required to deliver the waist needed to make an expansion a viable economic system.
It will not use modern incineration methods - as 'retraining existing staff is too expensive'
It will send utterly the wrong message to Nottingham residents who are just beginning to realise the importance of recycling. The existing chimney totem to the god of waste - high on our skyline is bad enough as it is,
Lulling people - including yourselves, in to a false sense of security through buying a few years worth of landfill space at the expense of so many other areas is not worth the money and not worth our future. The only answer is to reduce the problem, not try and hide it away like a guilty child pushing rubbish under the carpet.
This is a grown-up problem and requires grown-up responsible action to answer it. Reduction, not incineration at any cost.
Simon Anthony, Local resident.