TWO politicians have responded to the launch of the public consultation on the circular economy by saying the proposed large scale waste incinerator at Buttington quarry is not needed.

Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, and Trewern County Cllr Amanda Jenner, had previously called for a moratorium on new waste incinerators while a full and detailed review was carried out ahead of the new national waste strategy.

Broad Energy Limited has proposed a 150,000 tonne waste incinerator (Energy Recovery Facility), located at Buttington Quarry. The size of the Buttington Incinerator means that Welsh Government Ministers, under the Developments of National Significance Process, will make the decision on its approval rather than the local planning authority.

The Welsh Government's Towards Zero Waste Strategy aims to ensure that no waste is sent to landfill or incinerators by 2050.

Legislation banning key recyclable material from being sent to landfill or incinerators is also proposed. Welsh Government Ministers say that they will also work with the UK Government to explore the idea of an incinerator tax.

Earlier this year, the chairs of National Assembly for Wales' environment and health committees said that they believed that the government should ban waste incinerators, over concerns about air pollution and carbon emissions.

A public consultation on the Welsh Government's Circular Economy Strategy will run until April, with events set to be held across Wales to seek people's views. The final strategy will be published later in 2020.

Welcoming the consultation, Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire said: “I believe that the ambition in the Welsh Government's national waste strategy to ensure that no waste is sent to landfill or incinerators by 2050 render the proposal for a large scale waste incinerator at Buttington quarry totally unnecessary.

"Earlier this year, I and my colleague, Councillor Amanda Jenner, called for a moratorium on all new waste incinerators. This is the right approach while the public's views are being sought on its overall circular economy strategy as well as the concerns which have been expressed by my colleagues on the National Assembly's Environment and Health Committees about the long term impact of waste incinerators on air pollution and carbon emissions.

"Given the size of the proposed Buttington Incinerator, it will be for the Welsh Government to determine whether or not it is necessary under the Developments of National Significance process. However, given the measures outlined in this consultation today, I would urge Welsh Government Ministers to consider whether or not a development of this nature is consistent with the ambition outlined in the Circular Economy Strategy and the Wellbeing & Future Generations Act which commits the Welsh Government to consider building large scale infrastructure only if its necessary in the long term interests of the country."

Trewern Councillor Amanda Jenner, added: “I welcome the Welsh Government’s consultation announcement today. It is important that the Welsh Government takes the time to look at our waste strategy as a whole in order to ensure that waste is dealt with strategically and in the most environmentally conscious ways as possible.

"With the ambition of sending zero waste to incineration by 2050, the Welsh Government should put in place a moratorium on any new Waste Incineration Plants whilst this consultation and the responses to it are considered. A move towards a circular economy should reduce the need for any increase in the capacity of waste incineration.

"In addition, with the UK Government as a whole rightly committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, this consultation should include an assessment of the environmental impact of incinerators. Currently, the output of CO2 by incinerators is not restricted and burning waste adds to greenhouse gas emissions produced in Wales.”