Protest rally denounces Hatfield incinerator plan
ANGRY residents packed into a public meeting to hear why Hatfield’s New Barnfield site should not be home to a huge incinerator.
Speakers at the highly-charged gathering at the Jim McDonald Centre, in High View, Hatfield, attacked plans for a 270,000 tonne incinerator on the grounds of health, traffic, cost and climate change.
The meeting, organised by Hatfield Against Incineration (HAI), was attended by more than 100 people.
Speakers insisted their crusade, which mirrors the WHT’s own InferNO! campaign, was not simply a not-in-my-backyard protest, but a broader move against one large-scale waste incinerator.
HAI chairman Simon Archer told the WHT: “It is not nimbyism because it [the incinerator] is not right anywhere.”
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The economic and traffic case was made for several smaller sites, nearer to where the rubbish is produced – a move which they claim will save at least �250,000 a year in fuel costs alone.
Examples of similar schemes like one in Warwickshire were also outlined as the “scandal” of public finance initiatives (PFIs) was explained members of the audience shook their heads in disbelief and one muttered: “That’s terrible”.
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Cash-raising PFI schemes often result in long-running contracts where local authorities and therefore taxpayers end up continuing to pay for large-scale capital projects long after they become obsolete.
Panellist Paul Zukowskyj spoke of the dangers of incineration, which he said, even the most ardent “climate change denier” could see.
He said carbon dioxide released through burning waste would stay in the atmosphere for 100 years.
Speaking about protecting the environment for future generations he said: “There are things we can do about it.
“There are things we can do today – and one of the things we can do is stop this incinerator.”
HAI committee member Cathy Roe also spoke of her concern about pupils “many with autism”, at Southfield School, in Travellers Lane, who she said, would be exposed to excessive traffic and pollution from trucks bringing in tonnes of waste.
And Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Labour leader Kieran Thorpe scoffed and claims the incinerator would bring jobs to the area.
“How many people do you need to run an incinerator? It’s not a nuclear reactor,” he said.
Simplified forms were given out for visitors to send to the council to object to the plans and can be found on HAI’s website at the right of this page.