Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Hundreds protest over waste plant

Children at a nearby school were given the morning off to join the protest

Hundreds of villagers wearing gas masks and protective overalls have staged a protest against a planned hazardous waste incinerator in North Yorkshire.

They say plans by BCB Environmental Management to build a £23m plant at Marston Moor Business Park in Tockwith would put their health at risk.

Children from Tockwith primary, near to the proposed site, were given the morning off to join the demonstration.

BCB said the low emissions of dangerous gases would be insignificant.

The protest was timed to coincide with a site visit by North Yorkshire county councillors, who are expected to decide on the plans on 15 December.

Children don't want to be playing outside less than a kilometre away from a chimney throwing all that stuff out
School governor Graham Dent

The planning application states that the proposed energy-from-waste facility "would allow up 60,000 tonnes of waste per year to be processed".

The plant would "process non-hazardous, municipal waste, commercial and industrial waste from the local area and businesses, together with hazardous waste from the adjacent Waste Transfer Station to generate power to be exported to the National Grid".

Campaigner Tim Tunnard said: "We are not convinced it's the right place for this unproven technology and we are very concerned about the health issues the emissions that might be omitted."


Graham Dent, governor at Tockwith primary school, said: "The school is less than a kilometre away with 180 children aged between three and eight.

"About 50% of the curriculum of some of those children is done outside. Children don't want to be playing outside less than a kilometre away from a chimney throwing all that stuff out."

North Yorkshire county councillor John Savage said councillors faced a difficult decision because of pressures to find more sustainable methods of waste management.

"On one side of the coin they know they've got the waste to dispose of, but on the other side no-one wants an incinerator in their back yard."

In a statement, BCB said: "Residents' fears about the processing of hazardous waste are based on a likely misunderstanding of what is classified as hazardous.

"In this case the waste concerned is mainly solvents, paints, adhesives and inks.

"Emissions of dioxins and fleurons will be so low that they will be insignificant."

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