May I respond to Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed about Veolia’s planning application to import waste to Sheffield’s incinerator? (“Disappointed by Green comments”, Star, 17th July).
He says that the application is still in its early stages. In fact, we are in the final six weeks of a process which started with pre-application discussions in 2007; the application was received on 28th May 2008; the official consultation period ended on 24th June; a decision is due by 2nd September.
He says that the environmental impact assessment is not yet completed. In fact, the environmental assessment is already on the Council website. It misleadingly claims that the impact of trucking 75,000 tonnes per year of domestic waste (currently landfilled) into Sheffield and 75,000 tonnes of commercial waste (currently incinerated) out to Doncaster will not worsen Sheffield’s carbon footprint because commercial waste produces less greenhouse gases than domestic waste when it is landfilled.
He says that Green Party Councillors voted against recycling measures. In fact, these measures were part of the Lib Dems’ budget, which proposed to take £1.4m from mainstream council funds to spend on kerbside collection of glass and cans. Green Councillors support recycling, but believe that it should be funded via the Veolia contract (signed by the Lib Dems in 2001) not by cutting other services. We also know that glass is the least carbon-saving material to take out of the incinerator. The priority is plastics (which are made from oil) and textiles.
Readers can visit the Council’s Planning on Line website, application number 08/02603/FUL. The many objections, including from the Green Party, support the need for a regional waste strategy, covering commercial and domestic waste. People also realise that the Veolia contract is currently preventing anything more than piecemeal improvements in recycling. We hope that Cllr Mohammed will set aside party political differences and take note of all these comments.
Cllr Jillian Creasy, Sheffield Green Party