Buckfastleigh Transition Town – for a sustainable future for Buckfastleigh, Devon
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  • Whitecleaves Quarry – Incinerator waste stops here?

    Posted on February 23rd, 2011 andy 4 comments

    The proposal
    Buck the Trend members attended the exhibition at St.Lukes on Friday 18th Feb, where MVV Umvelt displayed their plans for an a waste incinerator at Devonport, Plymouth.

    The proposed incineration plant will burn black bin rubbish from Plymouth and S. Devon straight from the truck, generating up to 22.5 MW of electricity and heat for the dockyard and local businesses.

    What’s left is about 25% (by weight) of slag and ash. Three fifths of this resulting waste material is toxic fly-ash, recovered from filters in the chimney, which they will send to the North in lorries to be stored forever as hazardous waste by whatever private company is prepared to take it.

    It is proposed that the remaining, non-toxic bottom-ash (also known as incinerator bottom ash or IBA) would go to Whitecleaves. Around 10 to 15 20 tonne loads would arrive per day (57,000 tonnes per year) through Dean; 2 lorries in and 2 out per hour, from 9am to 7pm weekdays, with maintenance being carried out on Saturdays.

    Potentially the quarry can hold 5 years of waste from the incinerator, and getting the site ready to hold all this would require 12-18 months of blasting and drilling. The waste would however be sieved to remove ferrous (iron) waste, and also they hope to sell the remainder for use as building materials.

    This work would be in addition to the other activities proposed at the quarry that include those that were in their previous planning application.
    6 people would be employed at the Buckfastleigh site.

    There is also a proposal from Sam Gilpin Demolition to develop a materials recycling facility (MRF) at the quarry to process construction and demolition waste from their demolition business. The MRF will separate construction and demolition waste including:

    • concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics;
    • wood, glass and plastic;
    • metals;
    • soil and stones;
    • gypsum-based construction materials.

    The MRF will not recycle any asbestos or cars.

    Our Response
    As a community we need to decide not only if we want this waste to be processed/dumped in our neighbourhood, with all the heavy traffic and impact on the local environment that this entails, but also if we support or condemn the building of an incinerator in Plymouth to burn thousands of tons of material.

    Buck the Trend would like to see less ‘waste’ being produced in the first place, whether it be ending up in landfill or going up in smoke. This could be achieved by insisting on less packaging, more re-use and repair, and the development of community composting schemes and the like. It seems especially inappropriate that with our local recycling plant closing – which has been the community hub for saving stuff from landfill – more valuable materials will end up in back bins, and Buckfastleigh could become the ultimate resting place for this and everyone else’s waste.

    There is an open meeting convened by the Quarry Action Group to form a new community response to these proposals at St. Lukes Church on Friday 11th March at 7.30 – information here.

    From the exhibition
    We have reproduced the information displayed at the exhibition below (these are taken from photographs, so apologies for quality).

    Only the last few display boards relate directly to Buckfastleigh.

    Alternatively you can download them all as a pdf here, which also contains maps of the proposed MVV and Gilpin developments.

    Click on an image to view it at full size.


    4 responses to “Whitecleaves Quarry – Incinerator waste stops here?”

    1. Nice work Andy.

      Worth checking out the ‘hired muscle’ MVV are using to cajole councillors and manipulate the planning process:


      They are not just a PR company – they are a fully dedicated political consultancy, specialising in forcing through issues against demonstrable public opposition!

      Should be an interesting fight! An example of their modus operandi:


    2. Just posted a proposal on the new Digital Democracy website…


    3. just type the word “incinerator” in Google News – this is like war going on all over the country!!


    4. Sorry to be depressing, but this story re incinerator in Bicester is not encouraging -http://www.bicesteradvertiser.net/news/8888510.Pickles_approves_incinerator_plan/

      Viridor appeal, central government ignore the local people as normal.

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