Thank you for contacting me about waste incineration.
I understand your concerns about the growth of incineration and I agree that we need to do all we can to encourage people to recycle and use resources more efficiently.
By being more 'resource efficient', we can ease pressure on the environment and our stocks of natural resource, but also reduce costs too, boosting productivity. Where waste is produced, wherever possible we must ensure it is recycled. The Resources and Waste Strategy sets the Government’s higher recycling ambitions, including delivering a 65 per cent municipal waste recycling rate by 2035, and a minimum 70 per cent recycling rate for packaging waste by 2030.
In accordance with the waste hierarchy, the priority is to prevent waste in the first place and where it does arise, to reuse or recycle it. Waste incineration is the best management option for waste that cannot be prevented, reused or recycled. It plays an important role in diverting that waste from landfill, reducing its environmental impact. The Resources and Waste Strategy commits to increasing the efficiency of energy for waste plants.
All energy emissions from waste plants are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) and they must comply with the strict emission limits set by the European Industrial Emissions Directive. The EA assesses the emissions from new energy from waste plants as part of its permitting process, and consults with Public Health England on every application it receives. I am encouraged that the EA will not issue an environmental permit if the proposed plant will have a significant impact on the environment or harm human health.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP