Sharon responds to constituents asking her to sign Early Day Motion 581 calling for a moratorium on waste incinerators.
Thank you for contacting me about the Waste Incineration Early Day Motion (EDM) 581, which is a cross-party call for a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity. This is an issue which has started a wide debate, not just about the environmental impact of incineration, but also the health implications for local communities.
This is of particular relevance here in Washington and Sunderland West with the current proposal and application to build a gasification plant in Washington, which I and many local residents have registered opposition to. For further information on my opposition and work around this issue – which some correspondents on this subject will already be familiar with – you can visit my website by following this link: http://www.sharonhodgson.org/tags/rolton_kilbride
The Government has stated its view that the incineration of waste with energy recovery (i.e. energy from waste) plays an important role in diverting waste from landfill. However, it notes that the waste hierarchy should prioritise prevention, recycling and the re-use of waste.
The Government is developing future policy on waste and resources and has said that it will consider the findings of the National Infrastructure Commission, which is currently looking at waste as part of its assessment of the UK's major infrastructure needs over the next 30 years. It is also the case that Public Health England is reviewing its advice on waste incinerators in light of new substantial research on the health effects, which is due to be published soon in peer reviewed journals. I will follow developments on this closely.
I believe we need to embrace the circular economy and do much more to tackle waste, reduce consumption, and increase recycling levels up and down the country. It is important that we do see a move away from waste being put in to landfill; however, the facts around the safety of incineration as a method of waste disposal needs to be proven fully and therefore, it is important that we look into this matter further and a moratorium on the further building of these plants be implemented.
I can also confirm that I have co-signed the Early Day Motion in question, which is EDM 581, as I know this is an issue of great significance to the people of Washington and Sunderland West, and I wanted to show my support for this issue by using Parliamentary means to do so. You can view this EDM by following this link: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/581
I can assure you that I will continue to support initiatives to reduce waste and to improve recycling rates across our country, and will continue to work closely on this issue with other Parliamentary colleagues.