LibDem Council leaders have agreed a proposal that could see an incinerator built to burn over half of Edinburgh’s household waste [1].  The move has angered Green Councillors who say going down the incineration route leaves LibDem promises for 75% recycling made before the election in tatters [2].

The Greens will challenge Council leaders at next week’s full Council meeting to stick to election promises to tackle waste at source and to increase recycling and composting rather than supporting a new incinerator. They point out that incineration would waste valuable materials that could otherwise be recycled, would cause pollution and could harm human health. 

Green Councillor Steve Burgess said; “The LibDem run Council forging ahead with a massive new incinerator to burn Edinburgh’s waste makes a mockery of their election promises to support recycling and move to a zero waste society.

“The LibDem manifesto very clearly states they will adopt a target of 75% recycling by 2020. Rather than back away from this, Green councillors are asking them to stick to this promise and revise plans drawn up by the previous Council for an incinerator.

“Building an incinerator would waste valuable materials that could be recycled or composted. Edinburgh Council could be tied into a contract to feed this incinerator with waste for the next 20 years which would undermine the current progress being made on recycling and composting.�

Greens are seeking backing for a proposal that the Council commits itself to waste reduction and recycling as an alternative to building a new incinerator [3].
[1] On 14th August the City of Edinburgh Executive agreed ‘Lothians and Borders Area Waste Plan Review July 2007 – Response from the City of Edinburgh Council’. Version 2, page 2, supports Options 4-6 which propose as much as 56% incineration and as little as 32% recycling.
[2] Edinburgh Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2007 states
‘We want to: aim for 75% recycling by 2020 on the way to Zero Waste as soon as possible thereafter.’
[2]  Text of Green motion to City of Edinburgh Council for 23 August: ‘That the Council: notes the pledges made by all Parties prior to the election on recycling and commits the Council to reducing waste and increasing recycling and composting as an alternative to supporting the building of a new incinerator to burn Edinburgh’s household waste.’