On the day that the UK government announced that it is looking to impose restrictions on wood burning stoves and scented candles in a bid to reduce toxic air, it appears that there are plans to double the amount of operational incinerators to cope with the ever growing UK rubbish crisis.

Well reported, China has shut its doors on importing rubbish, landfill opportunities in the UK are nearing full so there’s a massive need to dispose of waste, but are incinerators the answer? and doesn’t that contradict the UK government’s Clean Air Strategy.

The facts:

There are currently 44 waste incinerators across the UK which last year burned 10.9 million tonnes of rubbish.

Incineration accounts for 42 per cent of rubbish disposal.

There are currently 16 new incinerators being built in the UK.

There are 45 incinerators approved for construction, with an additional 40 in the planning stages.

As you would expect, the pro incinerator lobby says that incinerating rubbish is efficient (generating electricity and heat) and that the particles it produces while harmful and the least bad option. On the counter argument critics, and there are a lot of them, say that increasing incineration capacity will only lead to less recycling and the full scale and impact of the pollutants it produces are not fully understood.

Seems to us, we all need to be looking very carefully at the amount of waste we are producing and tackling it at source. Specifically on plastic and its ability to be recycled take a look at this article.