Readers Letter: Alarm bells over new incinerator

Back in 2008 in Gateford for months we kept smelling a very strong smell of burning.

With the help of Bassetlaw Environment Health it was found to be coming from burning off demolition waste at the old Vesuvius site at Sandy Lane/Shireoaks Road, Worksop.

The Bassetlaw Officer then told us that a waste wood incinerator at the recycling centre right next door to the Vesuvius site had just been passed by Notts County Council.

So thinking as we could already smell this demolition waste being burnt off down at the old Vesuvius site, then we certainly would be breathing in dioxins or other toxic substances from the incinerator stack 24/7 for the next 30 years. Alarm bells started to ring!

We would only be just three quarters of a mile downwind from this monster.

Then the site owner had to apply for an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency. For over a year we tried to fight this along with the support of NCC Cllr Kevin Greaves. But in the end they won.

Now fast forward and a new full-blown waste incinerator is again planned down at the recycling centre and very much bigger than before.

It will not be incinerating our green bin household waste from Bassetlaw as this will be going to the Sheffield incinerator. In fact it will incinerate waste from elsewhere that has been shredded and pressed or dried to remove water called Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). The new much larger waste incinerator in Worksop will operate under the Waste Incineration Directive (WID). There are also concerns that some of this material would not be genuinely residual and should be recycled or composted. Recent fires at the recycling centre show emissions from this site soon envelope Worksop town. A pattern no doubt for the new incinerator emissions. About 50,000 thousand people live in Worksop within a mile or so from the proposed new planned much larger waste incinerator. Though as the Environment Agency use a radial 10k (6.23 mile) emission fallout zone the affected area would appear to be a lot larger and will include Whitwell, Dinnington, etc.

To complete the picture the work of Professor Vyvyan Howard and Professor Paul Connett (please Google) show that at the very high temperatures required by WID (850°C for two secs at least) to destroy pathogenic micro-organisms ultrafine/nano particles are created. They say that coated with dioxins these extremely small particle will pass through the gaps between cells lining the lungs and then directly into the blood stream and circulate around the body and accumulate in fatty tissue. Unfortunately the Environment Agency does not include nanoparticles as a separate group in the standards that they use to monitor waste incinerators.

More technical information can be found on when the local Elkesley Group were successful last year in getting NCC Planning Committee to overturn a waste wood incinerator with ‘risk to health’ as being one of the six reasons for turning it down. Therefore to fight this development and to set up an effective campaign group a public meeting is being held this Friday 28th February at 7pm at Crown Place Community Centre, Off Sandy Lane, Worksop S80 1TS. If you are unable to come along but are interested in helping then please email

Norman Biggs

Worksop Against Incineration