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Manchester MP speaks out against incineration

news release

On Saturday 4th March, Labour MP for Manchester Central Tony Lloyd joined environmental campaigners from Manchester Friends of the Earth [1] to urge members of the public to call on the Government not to build more incinerators.

Last month, the Government published its waste strategy for the next five years, which allows for up to 50 new incinerators to be built in England [2]. The public has until 9th May to respond to the proposals. Last Saturday Manchester Friends of the Earth campaigners were asking people in the city centre to send the message to the Government that they do not want any new incinerators to be built in the North West.

Tony Lloyd voiced his concerns over the Government’s plans, saying:

“It worries me that the Government’s proposals support a big increase in incineration capacity in the UK. I do not consider that incinerators are the answer to our country’s waste problems, and believe that the focus should instead be on preventing the amount of waste produced and increasing the proportion of waste that is reused or recycled.”

Lynda Searby, campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said:

“The Government’s review suggests that three times as much household rubbish could be burned in incinerators within the next 15 years, which is a major cause for concern.

“Incinerators not only have negative impacts on surrounding communities, they also release large quantities of greenhouse gas, and once built, incinerators lock councils into supplying them with large amounts of waste that would be better recycled or composted.

“We already have one incinerator in Bolton and unless we make our opposition known, even more of us could find ourselves living next door to an incinerator in the future.”

Friends of the Earth’s key criticisms of the Government’s waste strategy are:

Energy from Waste plants – or incinerators – form a key part of the Government’s waste strategy. Incinerators burn valuable resources which would be better re-used, recycled or composted. They are not a form of renewable energy as they burn a range of materials including plastics and are incredibly inefficient energy producers.

There is no target for waste prevention – the Government predicts that the amount of waste we produce will rise by between 0.75 per cent and 2.25 per cent year on year. This means we could be producing as much as 41.6 million tonnes of municipal waste in 2020. Yet the Government’s waste strategy contains no clear plans for dealing with this increase.

The Government’s target for 50 per cent of household waste to be recycled by 2020 lacks ambition. In 15 years England’s recycling rates will only have just reached the levels that some European countries reached five years ago.


Notes to Editors

[1] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent campaigns group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on its website: Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at

[2] A copy of the Government’s consultation on the revised waste strategy can be found here.

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