This question refers to Agenda Item 6 of the meeting of the Environment and Economy Select Committee meeting of 13 January.
This item presents the Draft Action Plan for the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy proposed for Surrey as Waste Disposal Authority.
Taking account of the fact that Government Guidance (2005) on producing these plans includes the following three principles:
1) In taking decisions there should be consideration of alternative options in a systematic way
2) Engagement with the local community should be an important and integral part of the decision making process
3) Environmental impacts of possible options should be assessed looking at both the long and short term
and noting the following from the draft Action Plan:
- That no information is presented on the expected composition of Surrey’s residual waste after 60% recycling and composting so it is not possible to assess which treatments would be most appropriate
- That the Council produced a statement that incineration is its preferred technology for residual waste before the public consultation on the Waste Plan and before the sustainability appraisal was done
- That we are not told who the Council is using as its various “technical” and “external” advisers other than Deloittes
- That we are told that one of the “main thrusts” of this strategy is the “imperative” to achieve “buy-in” from SITA, a company whose core business is incinerators
- That the report glosses over problems with incineration and dwells on problems with other technologies
- That the committee report does not offer any worked up cases that avoid incineration so an incinerator-free option cannot be assessed
- That it fails to take account of the impact of pursuing incineration on community support for minimization, recycling and composting;
How can the public be confident that options that did not include incineration have been fully, fairly and accountably assessed and will the Council give consideration to including a worked up incinerator-free option at this stage, that meets statutory requirements, so that this option may be realistically assessed by all parties in the next stages of preparing a draft Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy?