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Tories visit Allington energy from waste incinerator

Gordon Henderson and Ken Pugh, who is the Kent County Councillor for Sheerness, this week visited the Allington Waste Management Facility to see for themselves the effect that burning waste has on the local environment and to find out more about how recyclable waste is managed.

Allington is an energy from waste (EFW) facility that burns 1,500 tones of waste a day and produces enough electricity to power the whole of Sittingbourne and Sheppey. All of the general household waste collected from Swale in green bins is incinerated, although any ferrous metals put in the bins by mistake are recovered by magnets before being burnt.

Waste put in blue bins is also handled at the facility, but this is separated and sold for recycling.

Mr Henderson explained:

“Ken and I wanted to visit the Allington plant for a couple of reasons. The first was to see for ourselves how recyclable waste is handled. We had heard rumours that the waste from blue and green bins was all combined into one pile that was then incinerated. We are now satisfied that general household waste is treated entirely differently to recyclable waste.

“The second reason I particularly wanted to visit the facility was to learn more about the level of pollution generated by the incineration on waste. I am aware of the proposal to build an incinerator in Kemsley mill and I was concerned about the impact this might have on our local environment.

“We were able to see the incinerators in action and check the control systems and it soon became apparent that Allington is a very clean plant. The regulations relating to emissions are very tight, with the legal limit for dust particles, for instance, being 10mg per cubic metre, compared with 160mg per cubic metre for a coal-fired power station.

“The levels for emissions are monitored closely by the Environment Agency and having visited the plant I am confident that pollution generated by the Allington plant is lower than that caused by cars on the M20, which is close by.

“I must say I still have some reservations about the suitability of a power from waste incinerator at Kemsley Mill and I very much hope that if planning permission is eventually granted, the authorities insist any incinerator is of the same high standard as the one operating in Allington and that similarly stringent emissions targets are set.”

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