This was double the amount of campaigners who attended the march against the proposed incinerator on Portland last year.
Olympic sailor, Laura Baldwin had organised the event through the community group she co-founded: Portland 4 the Planet.
Overwhelmed by the numbers who had turned up to show their support against the proposed incinerator, campaigner Paula Klaentschi said: “This is just so important.” In her speech on stage she made it clear that incineration is not good for people’s health, the environment, the area of outstanding beauty or the Portland economy, adding, “The south west already has a surplus in waste incineration and a new plant is opening at Bridgwater. The 15mw of power offered could come from the National Grid supplied by one wind turbine. No lorries, no emissions, no toxic bottom ash, no using 56,000,000 litres of clean water every year, no importing waste by cargo ships from unconstrained locations.”
The reverend at All Saints, Brother Alasdair Kay, delivered a message, communicating the threat faced due to the climate crisis.
Town councillor, Giovanna Lewis said: “Like many others, I’m concerned for people’s health. There is no commercially available filter for incinerators that is capable of removing all the nasty gases and particulates, particularly the fine particulates, which go straight into the blood stream when breathed in. As an area of high deprivation, many on Portland with ill health, or little children, will have no choice but to put up with this risk – they don’t have the money to move away, and/or change their lives. And why should they?”
Baldwin spoke as a concerned mother living on the hill behind the proposed site, and virtually at the height where the proposed 80-metre chimney stops, drew the crowd’s attention to the hill where two people let off non-toxic smoke flares to give a visual demonstration. The smoke from the flares could be seen lingering as it slowly dispersed in the light southerly wind. She shared some of the reasons why an incinerator at this specific location was a bad idea saying that it backed onto the steep residential hill with homes and the prison above chimney height. “It’s an area prone to mist, fog and cap clouds that would hold the toxic particulates at ground level, polluting the air we breath and the land we grow food in,” she said. Among other reasons she gave was the visual impact with the site being exposed and highly visible, detracting from tourism and sport events appeal. She has joined a national campaign calling on the government to ban all new waste incinerators and phase out existing ones in place of a circular economy within which waste is manufactured out of production opting for waste avoidance, re-use, repair, recycling and composting.
“Dorset Council’s stated aim is to shift to a circular economy and for the council itself to be zero waste by 2040,” Baldwin said. “Let’s give a shout out to Dorset Waste Partnership for the very good service they provide.”
Powerfuel who wishes to develop the ERF facility has stated on its Portland website ‘the proposed Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) will have the capacity to process up to 202,000 tonnes of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) per year, providing a practical solution to our significant waste problem. RDF consists largely of combustible components of municipal solid waste comprising household, commercial and skip waste after recyclable materials such as glass, plastics and metals have been removed. The ERF will not treat hazardous or clinical waste. The bottom ash can be recycled and used as aggregate in infrastructure projects.’ To find out more visit http://www.powerfuelportland.co.uk
During the consultation on environmental permit application for the ERF an objection was submitted by Portland Town Council on 17 September 2021 citing amongst other criteria out of date assessments and a flawed consultation process.
For full details of Portland Town Council objections can be found here
To find out more about the campaign against the incinerator, visit Portland 4 the Planet on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1016423688747580/ or Stop Portland Waste Incinerator on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stopportlandwasteincinerator/
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