Thu, 04 Feb 2021
Burghfield resident Alex Pulleyn has written a letter outlining the technical case against a planned waste-burning facility in Burghfield.
Plans have been submitted by J Mould (Reading) Limited to construct an energy recovery centre at a site in Berry's Lane.
The facility could incinerate 150,000 tonnes of waste each year, converting it into heat and electricity.
Some local people have expressed scepticism over the proposals, however.
In the letter, Mr Pulleyn details what he says are the potential health risks posed by incinerators.
He says: "We are local residents living in the vicinity of this 'proposed' development.
"Incineration does not remove waste. It simply converts it into another form (gas, particulates, ash) and these new forms are typically more hazardous, though less visible than in the original form.
"Recent research has confirmed that particulate pollution, especially the fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution, which is typical of incinerator emissions, is an important contributor to heart disease, lung cancer and an assortment of other diseases, and causes a linear increase in mortality.
"The latest research has found there is a much greater effect on mortality than previously thought and implies that incinerators will cause increases in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality with both short-term and long-term exposure.
"Particulates from incinerators will be especially hazardous due to the toxic chemicals attached to them.
"The risks to local people that occur when incinerators operate under non-standard working conditions have not been addressed, particularly the emissions at start-up and shutdown which may be associated with the release, within two days, of more dioxin than over six months of working under standard conditions.
"Waste incineration is prohibitively expensive when health costs are taken into account."
Mr Pulleyn does not believe there is a compelling economic or environmental case underpinning the Burghfield proposals.
He concludes: "A variety of studies, including that from the Government, indicate that a single large incinerator could cost the taxpayer many millions of pounds per annum in health costs.
"Put simply, the Government's own data is demonstrating that incinerators are a major health hazard."
The full letter can be read on Facebook.