"The government's announcement that it is to increase the use of incinerators to dispose of waste is bad news for Essex and not what we want"
is the view of the Liberal Democrats at County Hall.
Cllr Ian Gale, Liberal Democrat county spokesman for waste management said:
"Whilst some Labour councillors in Essex have tried to deny this, the clear statement by the government that Labour is in favour of incineration both clarifies the situation and, more worryingly, increases the chance of it happening in the county.
Burning rubbish in incinerators produces smoke containing toxins that are blasted into the atmosphere causing damage to our environment. What is less clear is what effect that has on the health of residents living near to incinerators. The government is playing down the health risks, but the fact is that there is no evidence showing a zero health risk from incinerators.
Liberal Democrats have long argued for a commitment to significantly increase recycling. We are disappointed that the targets set by both central government and Conservative controlled Essex County Council for recycling are not more challenging.
However, if the government was really serious about dealing with waste, it should urgently legislate for less packing by manufacturers and retailers. Clearly the most effective way of dealing with rubbish is to produce less of it in the first place."