Bizarre protest sees Darlington group trawl the streets with ‘incinerator’

A local environmental charity has taken to the streets with a mock waste incinerator to protest about a new “waste to energy” plant proposed for the region. Darlington Friends of the Earth, in support of SINE (Stop Incineration North East), made the rubbish guzzling incinerator with an eight-foot flue complete with a balloon ‘plume’, to bring awareness of what is being planned by the seven local authorities including Darlington. The group’s mock mobile incinerator, which was in Darlington’s recent carnival procession and last Saturday travelled to Newcastle to join in an Extinction Rebellion North East protest, is intended to be taken to all of the other authority areas with a slogan of ‘STOP THE BURN’.

Durham County Council’s recently refused planning permission for a “high-temperature thermal treatment facility for clinical and hazardous wastes” at Merchant Park, Newton Aycliffe. A facility, due to appear at the Teessworks industrial site, is set to open in the coming years and will burn household waste from the seven local authorities in the North East. Read more: Newton Aycliffe waste incinerator ‘could be seen from A1’

The Northern Echo: Paul Foster, Spokesperson from SINE said “Not many people know that our councils are planning to truck in 450,000 tonnes of waste every year from all over the North East and burn it in the new monster TVERF incinerator near Grangetown.  “This will worsen the already high levels of air pollution locally and also throughout the region, which can be viewed, in a simulation, on ‘plume plotter’. 

“Modern incinerators may be equipped with filters that reduce some of the dioxin levels, but minute ultrafine particulates that can enter through our skin and pierce vital organs are not filtered out. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems, especially in the development of children, and can trigger cancers. Read more: Aycliffe incinerator inquiry – ‘it’s in the wrong place’

“I have asked Darlington council for a ‘pause and review’ of this project but, unlike Wales and Scotland’s example (who have moratoriums on building new incinerators), England lags behind on this issue, and consequently, so has Darlington, who refused my request”. Kendra Ullyart, from Darlington Friends of the Earth, called on local councils to reconsider their plans. She said: ” We call on the council leaders from these authorities to cancel the planned build of the TVERF incinerator at Redcar and to put our health and planet first and produce a Regional Waste Strategy designed around the need to transition to a circular economy”. 

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