Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fri 16 / Sat 17 March: CAPITALgrowth: "The Big Dig"

Link to web site

What's the big idea?

"We want to help Londoners transform the capital by creating 2,012 new food growing spaces by the end of 2012.

"Capital Growth is a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund. It is championed by the Chair of the London Food Board Rosie Boycott, and aims to create 2012 new community food-growing spaces across London by the end of 2012.

"Capital Growth offers practical help, grants, training, and support to groups wanting to establish community food growing projects, as well as advice to landowners."

The Big Dig
Friday 16 and Saturday 17 March
"The Big Dig is a volunteering event that aims to encourage Londoners to get their hands dirty at their local community growing space.

"Capital Growth is hoping to mobilise thousands of volunteers across London, to help community food-growing spaces prepare for the new growing season.  Volunteers will only be required to help for one day, but we hope some will choose to stay involved throughout the growing season."

Monday, 30 January 2012

BBC: "The toughest place to be a binman"

Link to BBC web site

"Jakarta and the surrounding metropolitan areas are home to 28 million people, and the Indonesian city is struggling to cope with all the rubbish it generates. What's it like for the binmen?

"Each day soon after sunrise, Imam Syaffi sets off with his hand-pulled cart to collect the rubbish from some of the more desirable residences in Jakarta.

"With his cheery cry of 'Sampa!' (rubbish), he lets the residents in their gated homes know that he has arrived."
"London binman Wilbur Ramirez is heading to Jakarta, the vast mega city that is the capital of Indonesia. For ten days Wilbur works with Imam, one of the army of semi-destitute binmen, who collect rubbish in one of the biggest and fastest growing cities in the world."

Toughest Place to be... a Binman was on BBC Two on Sunday 29 January, and Toughest place to be features further stories Sunday 5 and 12 Feb at 21:00 GMT.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

BBC: "Waste plant plan opponents to give evidence at Assembly"

Link to BBC Wales

"Opponents of plans to develop waste incinerators around Wales have welcomed the opportunity to put their arguments in person to Welsh Assembly members.

"The prospect of energy from waste incinerators has its roots in the Welsh government's waste strategy, entitled Towards Zero Waste, which sets out ambitious targets.

Haf Elgar, a Friends of the Earth Cymru campaigner, told BBC Radio Wales:
"We're concerned that incineration is really on old technology. It essentially takes black bin waste and burns it at a high temperature.

We believe that's wasteful, because other technologies can sort waste and make the most of recycling and re-using valuable materials that are just burnt in incineration."

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Daily Telegraph Video Wall: "Politicians on the Green Economy"

Click above, then on individual screens

"A selection of Britain's leading politicians, including Ed Balls, Ken Livingstone, Menzies Campbell, Paddy Ashdown, and many others, give their views on the Green Economy, on this video wall."

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Guardian: "How long do greenhouse gases stay in the air?"

This Q&A is part of the Guardian's ultimate climate change FAQ.

Link to The Guardian

"The lifetime in the air of CO2, the most significant man-made greenhouse gas, is probably the most difficult to determine, because there are several processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Between 65% and 80% of CO2 released into the air dissolves into the ocean over a period of 20–200 years. The rest is removed by slower processes that take up to several hundreds of thousands of years, including chemical weathering and rock formation.

"This means that once in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide can continue to affect climate for thousands of years."

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Stopping the Hatfield Incinerator

Link to web site

"Hatfield against Incineration (HAI) and Herts WithOutWaste (Herts WOW) are not just campaigning against incineration; we are campaigning for a cleaner and better management of waste for Hertfordshire, both in the short term and for future generations.

"We understand this is not an easy option, and will involve each and every one of us taking responsibility and making a commitment to help the County Council core aim of 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle'. However, we do not agree that one massive incinerator plant in any one place in Hertfordshire, with a committed contract of 30 years, is consistent with this aim. It may be an easy option, but it is not the right one, if we take into consideration:
  • Incineration creates CO2, which contributes to global warming
  • Incineration emits small particles which are dangerous to health
  • Incineration needs a large plant and a long term contract in order to make the investment viable and a constant provision of the volume of waste it was originally build for
  • Incineration cannot be scaled down as recycling increases and so reduces the incentive for high recycling rates
  • No one area should have to suffer the visual impact of such a plant, traffic volume and noise and the pollution emissions for the whole of Hertfordshire
  • It is undemocratic.

What we favour is:

"An enthusiastic, innovative and revolutionary recycling program with high recycling levels (above 70%) as already achieved elsewhere, and pressure to reduce waste, for instance:
  • eliminating unnecessary packaging
  • not developing products which are not recyclable
  • strict commercial guidelines etc., and
  • severe penalties for non-conformity."

The Guardian: "What does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Link to The Guardian

"The incandescent bulbs that have lit the world since their invention by Thomas Edison are on their way out, to be replaced by newer technologies offering dramatic improvements in efficiency, energy use, and other environmental impacts.

"The new U.S. lighting standards are part of the Energy Independence Act of 2007, signed into law by President Bush with broad bipartisan support. The lighting provisions remained uncontroversial until last year, when they became a Tea Party rallying cry. U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann said:
"The American people want less government intrusion into their lives, not more, and that includes staying out of their personal light bulb choices."

Monday, 23 January 2012

[Reposted from October] NLWA speaks: "Solutions and sites proposed for use of north London’s residual waste"


"The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and the three shortlisted companies on the Authority's 'Fuel Use' procurement have announced details of proposed solutions.

The procurement is one of two that NLWA is running to provide a long term and sustainable waste management solution for North London, and is for the use of 250-300,000 tonnes of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) - a fuel that would be created from the 500-600,000 tonnes of North London's waste that cannot be recycled or composted. 

A separate procurement is being run that will involve recycling or composting half of North London's waste, producing the fuel and minimising the landfilling of municipal waste.

"Loakes's NLWA allowance plan scrapped"
Chair of the NLWA, Councillor Clyde Loakes said:
"We are very pleased with the market response to the procurement. The three bidders have had to bring forward good environmental and commercial solutions to get to this point in the procurement process and they have done so.

We have set out to allow the energy opportunity afforded by North London's residual waste to be taken to where businesses have energy needs and to thereby move away from the use of fossil fuels. At this time of challenging economic circumstances I am especially pleased to see how bidders are making the links to employment and minimising the costs to local council tax payers including by seeking to access renewable energy subsidies.

The proposals for sustainable transport solutions such as water and rail, which will keep trucks off the road, are also very welcome".

The proposed solutions from the shortlisted Fuel Use Contractors are:
  • Covanta Energy is proposing a Combined Heat and Power plant at the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery site at Silvertown, East London. The power plant will meet the energy demands of sugar production undertaken on site in a sustainable and cost effective way, helping to ensure competitive operations at a site where 800 people are employed. The power plant will create up to 80 new permanent jobs and 350 jobs during construction.

    The Covanta proposal involves the transport by barge of SRF from Edmonton to Silvertown and this will support the further development of London rivers for freight transport use. Covanta will shortly begin consultations with the local community and relevant authorities ahead of a planning application in mid 2012.
(Later development: "Tate & Lyle plant may close")
  • E.ON/ Wheelabrator Technologies are proposing a Combined Heat and Power plant at DS Smith Paper's site at Kemsley Mill, Sittingbourne, Kent. The power plant will help meet the energy needs associated with the production of Corrugated Cardboard Material from recycled paper, card and fibre at the mill in a sustainable and cost effective way, helping to ensure competitive operations at a site where 800 people are employed.

    The mill is the UK's largest waste paper recycler; producing more than 850,000 tonnes of 100 per cent recycled paper and pulp a year. The power plant will also create around 50 new jobs as well as associated off-site employment.

    The SRF from North London would be transported sustainably by rail, continuing the NLWA's use of rail transport. Planning permission for the power plant was granted by Kent County Council in April and a permit to operate was issued by the Environment Agency in August.
  • Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc are proposing a Combined Heat and Power enabled power plant at an existing industrial site with planning permission to operate an ashphalt coating plant, an aggregates railhead and a readymixed concrete plant. The site is in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, 6 miles from the boundary of North London and adjacent to an existing Scottish Power plant. The plant will generate renewable electricity and discussions are ongoing with local businesses about the use of heat that can be supplied by the plant. The power plant will create 45 permanent new jobs and approximately 300 jobs during construction.

    The company's outline solution involves the transport by rail of SRF from North London and this will continue the NLWA's current use of rail transport. It is beginning consultation with the local community and relevant authorities ahead of a planning application in the first half of 2012.

The winning proposal will be selected using an evaluation framework that focuses on the quality and cost of the solution. The carbon impact of proposals, including that of the transport solution proposed, is a key element. The Authority's procurement timetable aims to select a preferred bidder in October 2012, and to award a contract in March 2013."

Link to "NLWA clarifies incineration".
plus "NLWA: The Gathering Storm".

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Tuesday 31 Jan: "Low-cost ways of saving energy"

" 'Sustainable Bowes Park' is an exciting new project of the Bowes Park Community Association which seeks to help householders, local community groups, schools and businesses to act more sustainably.

"Cara Jenkinson and Kate Allardyce of the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group will be talking about low-cost ways of saving energy. Come along and find out about easy ways to save energy in the home.

"Cut-price energy-saving products for sale - FREE radiator panels and letterbox draught excluders (while stocks last)."

Tuesday, 31st January, 7:30 - 9:30pm
TAB Centre Cafe, Palmerston Rd,
Palmers Green, N22 8RA

Pinkham Way Alliance: "Public Hearing on Redesignation of Pinkham Wood"

"Following our unified response to Haringey's 're-consultation' on their proposal to redesignate Pinkham Wood as industrial, the government inspector will hold a further public hearing. It will take place on Wed 22 Feb, at the Haringey Council Chamber in the Civic Centre.

"With your donations, the PWA have engaged a planning consultant to respresent us on the day. But it's very important that enough of us attend to fill the chamber, to show our support by listening quietly to the proceedings. You may also have been invited to speak yourself.

"Some of you, however, may have been specifically told that your reponse is not valid, and that you cannot speak. If you've been told this, please could you let us know asap.

"It's important that you visit our website to find out more about this key day for our campaign, how Haringey officials have replied to objections, and what best we can all do next."

Sunday 26 February
Galitzin String Quartet

"We are again very lucky to have another high-class performance dedicated to us, in order to raise money. The Galitzin String Quartet are a young, award-winning UK group with local connections - two of them went to Rhodes Ave primary.

"The Galitzin quartet, named after the dedicatee of Beethoven’s quartets Op.127, 130 and 132, met at the Royal Academy in 2003, and they held the Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship there in 2006-7. Since then, they have given many concerts in France, Switzerland, Holland and Germany, as well as in this country, and have had intensive coaching from the Ysäye quartet in Holland.

"The quartet are confirmed for the afternoon of Sunday 26 February at St Andrew's Church, Alexandra Park Road, and will be playing a full programme, made up of three classic works from the repertoire."

"An Introduction to Waste Technologies"

Link to 'Waste Technology' web site

"We have been involved in all aspects of the introduction of Mechanical Biological Treatment to the United Kingdom since the inception of the concept, over the years since the Landfill Directive came into force in July 2001. We share our knowledge in the processes capable of treating municipal waste'.

"We hope that we will make you aware of many of the technologies, ... and you will contact us if you have a problem we can possibly solve."

"Keep up to date with the latest 2012 version of:

'An Introduction to Waste Technologies'

by Steve Last

"This ebook includes concise information on each of the most popular waste technologies, plus easy to understand 'material flow charts' for each type of waste facility.
This practical guide to what the technologies used in each type of waste facility do, and how they do it, includes the pros and cons of each technology, and is ideal for anyone who needs a quick introduction to this rapidly expanding sector of the economy."

(We have no commercial connection with this web site)

[Reposted] Report on EuroMeeting: 'Towards Zero Waste'

(Click to enlarge)

On Monday 14 March 2011, more than 30 people from 13 European countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain and Hungary – came together for the first time, to define a 'Zero Waste Strategy' for Europe. The event was organised by GAIA and EEB.

Throughout the day, there were debates about the meaning of 'Zero Waste in Europe' and the need for the NGO community to set the agenda for waste and resource management for the future. That is, moving the focus beyond becoming a recycling society, towards becoming a Zero Waste society. It was emphasized that Zero Waste is a journey, not a destination!

The main difference between a recycling society and a Zero Waste society is the emphasis put on reducing the residual fraction, i.e. the percentage of waste that cannot be recycled or reused. Zero Waste means maximising recycling, but it also means minimising the residual part of waste so as to phase out the need for landfilling, incineration, and any other disposal option.

Zero Waste is an alternative to traditional waste management, because it aims not to manage waste, but to phase it out, so that the refuse of a process is the raw material for a new process. For this reason, Zero Waste can also aim at social and economic regeneration, at putting carbon back in the soil, and at bringing environmental justice to the way we manage our common resources.

In the afternoon, there were presentations of Zero Waste experiences from the Italian, UK, and Catalan Zero Waste networks. In Italy, there are already 25 municipalities commiting to Zero Waste, and the Zero Waste Research Centre in Capannori is already in operation, with successful experience in redesigning operations.

This meeting set up the framework for future cooperation between European NGOs, and for replication of best practices. The Zero Waste goal is starting to take hold, all over the EU!

Friday, 20 January 2012

25 Jan: Questions to the Mayor (we'll look out for the answers)

Food Waste (1)
Question No: 266 / 2012
Mike Tuffrey
Please provide an up-to-date list of the food waste collection services offered in each London borough.
Food Waste (2)
Question No: 267 / 2012
Mike Tuffrey
Will you set a date by which all boroughs should have introduced food waste collections? If not, why not?
Question No: 268 / 2012
Mike Tuffrey
In view of statistics released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which show that the proportion of household waste sent for recycling rose by just 0.7 per cent, from 31.8 percent in 2009/10 to 32.5 per cent 2010/11, how will you meet your target to recycle or compost 45 per cent of London’s waste by 2015?
Anaerobic Digestion
Question No: 269 / 2012
Mike Tuffrey
London sends around 460,000 tonnes of municipal food waste to landfill each year, yet planned schemes for anaerobic digestion will only provide a total capacity of c. 260,000 tonnes. Do you intend to address this shortfall? If so, how?

Daily Mail: "New move to back airport in Thames Estuary"

Link to Daily Mail

"An airport in the Thames Estuary has moved a step closer, with the Government set to include the plans in a consultation. The scheme is expected to cost between £40billion and £70billion.

"Mr Johnson has also praised separate designs by architect Lord Foster, for a £50billion airport on a sparse strip of land on the Isle of Grain in Kent, which juts out into the estuary. But it is the plan for an airport built on an artificial island that is to be part of the consultation."

Haringey LibDems: " 'Sham' consultation ignores residents’ views on Pinkham Way land"

Link to lynnefeatherstone.org

"Local Liberal Democrats have branded the re-run of a consultation on a Haringey strategy a sham, after a report published last week showed that the Council has disregarded the responses of many local residents. Despite voicing their strong opposition to the changes which pave the way for the waste plant at Pinkham Way, sixty responses from local residents were rejected.

"The Council was made to repeat the consultation on the re-designation of land in its Core Strategy, which included the site that is proposed to be a new waste facility at Pinkham Way, due to concerns raised by the Planning Inspector that the Council failed to consult widely enough, the first time."

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Newbury Today: "Transport Secretary recommends refusal of Chieveley incinerator"

Link to Newbury Today

"THE Secretary of State for Transport has dealt a hammer blow to Grundon’s hopes of building an incinerator at Chieveley, by bluntly telling the waste firm that planning permission should not be granted for the plant.

"The consultation process is barely a month old, but the Highways Agency has given short shrift to the application, by submitting notice of an indefinite refusal to West Berkshire Council."

Barnet Green Party: "Join Pinkham Way day of action"

Link to web site

"Join Barnet Green Party’s day of action on Saturday 21 January, when we will be campaigning in Coppetts Ward to highlight the threat posed by the North London Waste Authority’s plans for a mammoth rubbish-squashing plant at Pinkham Way in Friern Barnet.

"In you can help [sic], come to our stall outside the Co-op in Woodhouse Road, Friern Barnet, any time from 10am. 

"Barnet Greens have also submitted 38 proposals for Barnet, Enfield and Haringey boroughs to improve their waste reduction, re-use and recycling operations, showing how the total volume of waste could fall more sharply even than current trends."

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Evening Standard: "Cameron's backing makes Boris Island airport 'irresistible'"

Link to Evening Standard

"Plans to build the world's biggest airport in the Thames Estuary took a significant step forward today, as David Cameron prepared to announce a formal consultation on the project.

"Mayor Boris Johnson, who originally proposed the scheme, today hailed moves for a new hub airport as 'irresistible', and said it would solve the South-East's aviation crisis, create jobs and boost the economy."

Mrs Angry: Boris and Brian Coleman

Link above to Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet'
(for meeting report, then a Brent Cross post)

" 'Heightened alert', said all the security signs.

"True, there was a sense of barely repressed hysteria, in some quarters, at the 'Talk London' event last night. It was kind of a Broken Barnet political Glastonbury, with Boris mainlining, and Brian Coleman playing the part of a rather troubled Michael Eavis, worried about crowd control, and all the acts finishing on time.

"We trooped through the gates of Hendon police centre, and then through three sets of security checks, all of whom scrutinised your ticket and verified your identity with great interest, as if you were about to board a flight to New York with a box of fireworks and a big stash of weed in your hand luggage. Mrs Angry made it through, despite the fact that her ticket, thanks to the cheeky blogger who ordered them, bore the unlikely name of 'Mrs Morris Mustard'. Wishful thinking, Mr Mustard? Join the queue, mate."

Monday, 16 January 2012

Mr Mustard: "Here's thousands of pounds - find us a new site"

Link to Barnet's 'Mr Mustard'

"12 January 2012: Appointment of an external commercial property agent to find properties suitable as Barnet depot relocation sites." [It is unclear if moving some parts of the depot to Pinkham Way is still 'assumed' 100%.]

"19 January 2009: It has been agreed by this committee that a new depot should be built on part of the former Friern Barnet sewage works site. The area of the site identified for the new depot will not be available for the commencement of building works until 2011 – this is because of the need to secure planning permission for the redevelopment of the whole of the former sewage works site from Haringey Council, and for the purchaser/developer of the remainder of the land to carry out works to eradicate Japanese knotweed, decontamination, site reprofiling and to provide road and services connections to the depot site. Thus, it is doubtful whether the new depot will be available until 2013 – approximately three years after the vacation of the existing depot is likely to be required."

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Boris: "Investing in Outer London" public meeting (Chaired by Brian Coleman)

Link to Mayoral web site

"Talk London will take place at the Peel Centre in Hendon, NW9 5JE on Tuesday 17 January, 7pm - 8.30pm. Doors open at 6pm.
[This is immediately next to the playing fields,
that Barnet's 'Area Action Plan' wants to
concrete over with housing, by the way.]
  • People are encouraged to register online in advance.
  • Registering online doesn't guarantee a seat.
  • People who have registered in advance can turn up from 6pm and get a seat on a first-come, first-served basis
  • People who have not registered in advance will be able to turn up on the night, and try to register from 6.45pm, but there is a risk all the seats will have been taken by this time.

Briefing on 'Investment in London' before the 'Boris Meets The People' meeting, 17 January

Link to 'Brent Cross Coalition'

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sita: Making 'anaerobic digestion' more digestible

Link to Sita newsletter


"SITA UK runs a waste management site at Benedict Wharf, Mitcham, South London. The site includes:
  • Waste transfer station licensed to handle 275,000 tonnes of waste per year
  • Materials recycling facility licensed to handle 54,500 tonnes per year
  • Transfer depot
  • Maintenance workshops.

Planning application

Following Merton Council’s decision not to grant planning permission for SITA UK’s plans to redevelop the waste site at Benedict Wharf in October 2010, the company revised its proposals to take account of local concerns. The plans were submitted to the Greater London Authority on 14 July 2011 and [have now been approved]. Details of the hearing can be found here: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/public-hearings/sita-recycling-park.

The Mayor of London has the ability to determine planning applications, like SITA UK’s, considered to be of strategic importance to London. Towards the end of 2010, Boris Johnson decided to take over the determination of this application and in the autumn, he will decided to grant planning permission for the proposed development.

To address Merton Council’s and local communities’ concerns about the visual impact of the proposed facility on surrounding areas, we made the following changes:
  • The size and footprint of the proposed anaerobic digestion facility has been reduced by more than half.
  • The amount of material that the proposed anaerobic digestion facility can process has been decreased from 100,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes per year.
  • We have removed plans to develop an in-vessel composting facility.
  • The height of the anaerobic digestion stack has reduced from 37 metres to 32 metres.
  • The height of the anaerobic digestion tanks has been reduced from 24.5 metres to 15 metres.
  • Overall, these changes will result in 20 per cent less traffic in during the second phase of the development than previously proposed.
The proposals for the site now include:
  • An extended materials recycling facility, which would separate and process up to 80,000 tonnes per year.
  • An anaerobic digestion facility, which would process up to 40,000 tonnes of catering and food waste per year.
  • A waste transfer station that would handle up to 40,000 tonnes per year.
  • A new administration building and visitor centre to allow children and members of the public to learn more about recycling and how we generate renewable energy from the waste that we process.
  • A new landscaping and environmental improvement scheme around the site."

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

BBC: "Ten 100-year predictions that came true"

Link to BBC web site

"In 1900, an American civil engineer called John Elfreth Watkins made a number of predictions, about what the world would be like in 2000. How did he do?

"In December of that year, at the start of the 20th Century, John Elfreth Watkins wrote a piece published on page eight of an American women's magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, entitled 'What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years'."

UK Without Incinerators Network: Review of 2011

UKWIN Coordinator’s 2011 Year End Report:
Reflect, Celebrate, Donate!

The time has come once again for UKWIN to reflect upon the year gone by, to celebrate our many achievements, and to appeal to members and supporters for contributions that will enable our movement to continue to grow in size and influence.

2011 has been UKWIN’s busiest year so far.

We continue to welcome new members, both individual campaigners and local groups, and the Network now encompasses more than 300 individuals and more than 85 groups. Of course we would all rather see shrinking membership as a result of a moratorium on new incinerator plans, accompanied by the phasing out of existing incinerators, leading to a United Kingdom without incineration. As our name suggests, we are all working towards this goal, and our network grows stronger with each new member.

During 2011 campaigners experienced some high points, worthy of celebration, and some low moments. There are also numerous situations where the jury is out and where outstanding issues will carry over into 2012. We have seen planning decisions increasingly involve the courts, and due in part to the impending changes to the planning system associated with the National Planning Policy Framework, this trend looks set to continue.

Another trend that looks set to continue is the ever-decreasing quantity of waste arisings resulting in an ongoing reduction in residual waste. This is an area that we intend to explore in detail, and we plan to publish our research findings in 2012.

UKWIN activities carried out during 2011
  • With the support of a core group of dedicated volunteers, UKWIN’s National Coordinator provided information, advice and guidance via e-mail, telephone and skype, to our member groups, and to journalists, academics, politicians, and to the many others making inquiries about incineration and alternative approaches to waste management
  • UKWIN maintained our much-visited table and interactive map of existing and potential incinerator sites, and we added a new status of “prevented incinerators” – We are grateful to those volunteers who helped keep the information up-to-date by providing us with the latest details of their campaigns
  • We revamped our website (http://ukwin.org.uk/) – Report available upon request
  • UKWIN made several submissions to Government waste and planning consultations (see http://ukwin.org.uk/resources/consultationsubmissions/), and as a result of our involvement in the Waste Review, UKWIN has been made a consultee on the Government’s forthcoming Guide to Energy from Waste
  • UKWIN published several new briefings (see http://ukwin.org.uk/2011/06/30/ukwin-waste-review-briefing-released/ and http://www.ukwin.org.uk/resources/briefings/), and we commissioned Eunomia to produce a bespoke piece of research (available from http://ukwin.org.uk/files/pdf/Eunomia_July_2011_Climate_%20Change_Impacts.pdf)
  • UKWIN also produced a Waste Wood Biomass Objection Template that can be adapted for local planning objections
  • More than 40 news items were created for the UKWIN website (thanks to those who have helped with this!), and some 1,600 e-mail messages were exchanged via the Waste Discussion List (Let me know if you would like to join this discussion list of more than 100 activists)
  • UKWIN and our member groups regularly featured in trade press publications (such as Materials Recycling Week), and increasingly also appeared in mainstream media (e.g. local, regional and national newspapers, and local radio and regional television broadcasts)
  • In February, UKWIN delivered a valuable Campaign Workshop in Hertfordshire, and in April we held a successful Annual General Meeting in Leicester
  • UKWIN continued to deepen our contacts with Government officials, including Defra civil servants, and with sympathetic Members of Parliament, and organisations such as WRAP and ReAlliance
  • UKWIN played an active role in supporting our member groups with several waste core strategy examinations in public and with some planning inquiries, notably the Dearne Valley (Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham) Waste Core Strategy Examination in Public and the Shropshire (Shrewsbury Battlefield) public inquiry
  • Our Chair, Tim Hill, helped numerous groups by lending his technical expertise to assessing proposals in relation to the dreaded R1 formula 
  • UKWIN deepened our contact with like-minded organisations, including the Zero Waste Alliance UK, Waste Watch, Biofuelwatch, Freegle, and the Coventry-based 2020 Zero Waste Project, as well as Friends of the Earth and GAIA 
  • We secured funding, from the Ecology Trust, to continue to employ a Coordinator through to the end of 2012 and beyond; and our bid to the Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation for some funding that we could use for residual waste trend research was also successful! (For more details see below.)
Causes for celebration

In 2011, UKWIN member groups up and down the country made significant gains, worthy of celebration – including (but not limited to):
  • Ongoing successful resistance in Derby to both the Spondon and the Sinfin proposals
  • Planning permission refused (again) for Shepshed proposal in Leicestershire, alongside the removal of the Bardon Business Park, Coalville (near Ellistown) and Whetstone sites from the County’s waste plans
  • Ongoing success in preventing a Sherwood Forest incinerator in Rainworth (near Mansfield), Nottinghamshire
  • Acceptance by Cyclamax of the refusal of planning permission for their Chesterfield incinerator proposal
  • Huge surge in opposition to incineration following the IPC decision for Rookery Pit, Bedfordshire (and that decision’s impact on the Twinwoods proposal)
  • The tremendous efforts being made by campaigners in Hertfordshire, who are simultaneously participating in both the Waste Core Strategy Examination in Public, and the planning consultation for the New Barnfield (Hatfield) proposal, whilst also keeping a watchful eye on potential proposals for Ware and for Harper Lane (near St. Albans)
  • Media-grabbing gains made by Kings Lynn campaigners, who are challenging the Government’s commitment to localism and who have already succeeded in bringing about the withholding of PFI credits, putting the Norfolk Waste PFI procurement process in jeopardy
  • The determination of campaigners in Cheshire to try everything and more to stall the progress of the Runcorn incinerator
  • Success in scuppering the biomass burning facility that had been planned for Urmston, Manchester
  • The continuing development of the Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland (GAINS) network, and their resolute campaigning at both local and national levels in Scotland
  • Success of campaigners in West Berkshire, who have already managed to reduce the capacity of the Newbury proposal by 100,000 tonnes, before a planning application has even been submitted
  • The dropping of the Beaconsfield site in Buckinghamshire, the Sutton Courtney site in Oxfordshire, and the Manvers site in Barnsley
  • The precedent-setting legal decision to quash the planning permission for an incinerator proposed for Cornwall
  • The emergence of the South Wales Without Incineration Network (SWWIN) helping to coordinate the campaigns in Wales, and the victories scored when the Merthyr Tydfil and Newport (Corporation Road) proposals were withdrawn
  • The excellent documents produced as part of the campaign against an expansion of the existing Tyseley incinerator in Birmingham
  • All of the efforts that went into the planning inquiry to uphold refusal of planning permission for the Shrewsbury Battlefield site in Shropshire, and for the planning inquiry to withdraw planning permission for the Hartlebury incinerator proposed for Kidderminster in Worcestershire
  • The demise of the Saltend proposal for Hull, despite both planning permission and an environmental permit having been secured – giving hope to us all.
2011 also saw UKWIN paying modest amounts of money for advertising for the first time – we now have a page on The Ecologist website, at:

During 2011, UKWIN succeeded in increasing donations to more than £3,000 (via cheques, standing orders, bank transfers and PayPal), including several very generous donations from a small number of campaigners and groups (although it must be said that UKWIN received no financial contributions at all from some member groups). These financial contributions are in addition to the many thousands of pounds worth of in-kind (voluntary) contributions made to UKWIN over the past year alone!

Our Income in 2011 is up on that in 2010, and whilst these contributions represent a genuine boost in UKWIN’s financial position, we remain far short of self-sufficiency, and thus we remain heavily dependant on the ongoing goodwill of grant-making trusts. Moreover, we could do more to support local campaigns if we had more resources, e.g. to pay for professional services. This is particularly pertinent where we have to support not only campaigns against planning applications but planning appeals, examinations in public and legal cases that reach the High Court.

It is vital for UKWIN’s future that our members and supporters help by renewing membership and by donating money to enable us to maintain the momentum, and so that we can extend the capacity of UKWIN. To join/renew go to: http://ukwin.org.uk/apply/ and to find out how you can donate to UKWIN, please visit: http://ukwin.org.uk/donate/

Payments can be made by bank transfer to the UKWIN account (Sort code 08-92-99, Account number 65276853) or by cheque made payable to UKWIN and posted to: UKWIN Membership c/o Shlomo Dowen 25 The Birchlands, Forest Town, MANSFIELD NG19 0ER. Alternatively, payments can be made via PayPal by clicking the button on our website.

Our hopes and dreams for 2012

Your contributions and donations will help enable UKWIN to realise some or all of our collective hopes and dreams for the organisation and for the movement as a whole. The ground we can cover during 2012 depends on many factors, including the resources available to extend UKWIN’s capacity to work effectively.

A UKWIN dream is to create a regional structure of both paid and volunteer Regional Coordinators to work with the National Coordinator, sharing the existing work-load and extending UKWIN’s capacity to become ever more involved in supporting the grassroots work of our members. This dream dovetails with the dream of greatly extending our influence through ongoing engagement with Government. These dreams inform our hopes.

During 2012 we hope to deliver a Campaign Workshop in Leeds (along the lines of the Workshop delivered in Hertfordshire), to bring together the many groups active throughout Yorkshire for training and for sharing skills, information, experience, etc. We hope to be in a position to deliver similar Workshops in other areas, in response to requests.

We also hope to provide our members with useful pieces of research, starting with the development of a tool for demonstrating anticipated quantities of residual waste based on a series of independently-reviewed assumptions. UKWIN is currently in discussions with Waste Statistician, and Earth Mover Award Winner, Keith Kondakor regarding this work.

Arrangements are coming together for UKWIN’s next Annual General Meeting to take place on Saturday 21 April 2012, at Greenpeace’s London Office (Canonbury Villas, London N1 2PN). Our dream is that this return to London will be the biggest and most worthwhile gathering of UKWIN members, and we hope to see you there!

UKWIN dreams of a United Kingdom without incineration, and we hope that 2012 will be a pivotal year in the fulfilment of that dream. To this end, 2012 will see UKWIN working ever more closely with like-minded organisations, and of course with our own members.
To UKWIN’s Trustees, our Action Group, our many volunteers and members, let me thank you all for your solid support throughout 2011, and for your help in making the most of 2012.

Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator

Monday, 9 January 2012

Daily Telegraph: "We may pass through Hell, but the UK will rise from the flames"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"... The UK's future relative economic performance will be subject to competing forces. 

"On the negative side, we still face a stark adjustment in both the housing and labour markets. Fiscal tightening will also continue, although it is far from clear that this will be any greater here than in either the US or the eurozone. 

"On the other hand, the prospective drop of inflation will be much greater here than elsewhere. Accordingly, the bounce-back of consumption could be proportionately greater. ... Once the eurozone recovers, the growth in UK exports should be much stronger than the equivalent in the US."

The Guardian: "Angela Merkel has the whip hand in an orgy of austerity"

Link to The Guardian

"The language of S&M is also now part of the eurozone discourse. The joint letter sent last month by Sarkozy and Angela Merkel to Herman van Rompuy, president of the European Council, explaining the Franco-German plans for future governance of the single currency stressed 'fiscal discipline' and the need to 'detect and correct departures from sound economic and fiscal policies long before they become a threat to the stability of the euro area as a whole'.

"... This sort of aberrant behaviour is now commonplace across the eurozone where, unlike in Britain, it cannot be blamed on the peculiarities of the educational system. Perhaps a Freud or a Jung could explain what is happening: it certainly defies rational economic analysis."

The Guardian: Capital City closes waste dump: "conflict between the national [and local] government"

Link to The Guardian

"The crisis became acute as 'more urban areas became densely populated, so that waste was further concentrated,' said Ramón Ojeda. 'Consumerism has increased sharply, in tandem with the absence of a culture of non-generation, classification and recycling of waste.'

" 'We are facing environmental and regulatory chaos. Powers vested in the authorities should be turned over to ordinary citizens, without any privatisation of waste management services, so that we can have an organisation with broad representation, including experts, universities, citizens and private companies,' said Ojeda, whose term as head of ICEAC is due to end in 2013."

Friday, 6 January 2012

Rory Bergin: "Cycling – are our policies working?"

Link to web site

"The evidence for the success or failure of current cycling policies across the UK is mixed. Apart from some major successes, particularly in London, cycling rates are rising in the UK, mainly for leisure trips, but are still extremely small compared to other European neighbours with a similar climate, population density and geography.

"... For our friends on the Continent there doesn’t appear to be any doubt that segregated cycle lanes are the way forward, they are busy and successful. The success appears largely down to their use, there are fewer accidents because they are well-designed and well used, and no one is surprised that they are being used."

Enfield Independent: 'Former Enfield Head of Finance is accused of £500,000 theft'

Link to web site

A FORMER head of finance at Enfield Council has been accused of stealing nearly £500,000 of taxpayers money.

John Jossa, 58, appeared at City of London Magistrates on Tuesday charged with fraud by false representation and obtaining property by deception.

Mr Jossa, who is father to EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa who plays Lauren Branning in the BBC soap, denies the charges against him.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Mrs Angry predicts ... a doomed face-saving exercise in Broken Barnet

Link to Mrs Angry's Broken Barnet
(a product endorsed by Sec. of State Eric Pickles)

Mrs X: "Mrs Angry: are you feeling refreshed after your Christmas and New Year break?"

Mrs Angry: "I am not, thank you for asking, Mrs X. But never mind, my psychic energies are simply buzzing with activity, and I have many predictions for the New Year ... and now my spirit guide is whispering something in my ear ... oh. How curious. Really? Mmm. Goodness."

Mrs X: "What? Do share with us, Mrs Angry. We won't tell anyone."

Mrs Angry: " Very well. This must not pass further than the imaginary boundaries of this post, but I can see a very interesting development in Broken Barnet ..."

Mrs X: "Go on, go on."

(She does. 
And also mentions economic activity in

Roadworks on Bounds Green section of North Circular to be completed by Spring 2012

Friern Barnet and Whetstone residents know all about the effects of the roadworks currently taking place on the Bounds Green section of the North Circular Road. They see very clearly the congestion when they go to Tesco and wonder as the line of traffic stretches back towards Finchley Central. 

A view of the traffic jam from the Colney Hatch bridge
Frequent users of the North Circular, who are heading towards Southgate or Winchmore Hill or Enfield, have learnt to exit at the intersection with either Colney Hatch Lane or the Finchley High Road. 

Some drivers on their journey east, wanting to skip a few hundred yards of crawling traffic, use the Tesco slip road, cross over Colney Hatch Lane and take the slip road towards the retail park, before re-joining the North Circular. 

A new footbridge at Telford Road, Bowes Road and Wilmer Way

For years, the Bounds Green section of the North Circular has been an anomaly, as it went from six lanes at the intersection of Pinkham Way and Station Road (by the New Southgate gas holder) to three lanes along Telford Road. The next stretch east from the dog leg, at the intersection of Telford Road and Bowes Road, to the Clockhouse intersection at Green Lanes accommodated only four lanes in total. 

The politicians dithered for years about providing funds for road widening. Over the years there have been many Ministers of Transport of different political parties, who as far as Friern Barnet residents were concerned, were all useless. Houses along the North Circular were purchased, the occupants were moved on, the houses started to disintegrate. With a change of plan, these houses were refurbished, and are now being sold off. 

Telford Road, during the roadworks;
traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction.

The funds having eventually been found to provide three lanes in each direction, and the widening road-works started in March 2010. One of the first effects of the roadworks was to reduce this major arterial road, in certain sections, to just two lanes in total. This has inevitably caused even greater traffic chaos in Friern Barnet (and places beyond). Since the roadworks started, even more regular drivers of the North Circular have learnt to get off the North Circular and head towards their destinations via Finchley High Road, Colney Hatch Lane and the narrow roads of Friern Barnet.

Thanks to the North Circular Road congestion, local residents are familiar with the gridlock around Tesco’s car park, when it is difficult to get in and impossible to get out. 

Along the roadworks from the intersection with Station Road to the Clockhouse/ Green Lanes intersection there is much building, rebuilding and modifications taking place at the same time. Most of the work is to widen the road, but there are other projects—a new footbridge is being built; existing electrical and water supplies are being diverted; and the culvert handling Bounds Green Brook is being modified. 

The bridge over Bowes Road, carrying Hertford North railway line

The new footbridge is being constructed close to the dog leg where Telford Road, Bowes Road and Wilmer Way intersect (see above). It is near to the existing footbridge by Bowes Road school. There was talk of having a push-button traffic light system at this point to provide disabled access to the school. Such a scheme on this busy part of the North Circular would inevitably lead to one or two schoolchildren being flattened. Hopefully, the on-demand traffic light scheme has been abandoned, and access across the road will be provided by the new footbridge. Hopefully, sense has been seen. 

The bridge carrying the Piccadilly Line is one of the 'pinch points' on this section of the North Circular. There are three arches to the bridge; the central arch can take four lane of traffic, and the two outer arches could take at least one lane each. It is not clear, at the moment, how the bridge may be reconfigured to take three lanes in each direction. The railway bridge carrying the Hertford North section of the railway line is another of the 'pinch points'. However, it is easy to see that, by using the previous green space, as well as the second arch of the bridge, three lanes can be created in each direction. 

Before Spring 2012, various sections of the roadworks will be completed and opened up, and so the days when the road can take only one lane of traffic in one direction will come to end. And, the lives of Friern Barnet residents, as far as traffic is concerned, should begin to improve. Telford Road, during the roadworks, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction. 

Harry Gluck
(in a recent article in the magazine of Friern Barnet and Whetstone Residents' Association.)