A HUGE improvement in recycling rates has prompted a local MSP to call for an end to plans for an incinerator in Newton Mearns.
West of Scotland MSP Stewart Maxwell told The Extra: “As more of our rubbish is recycled, less is sent to landfill or for incineration. Improving recycling rates make the supposed need for an industrial-scale incinerator here redundant.
“Incinerators require a constant supply of waste as fuel so that the burner operates effectively. As such, materials which would normally be recycled tend to be incinerated instead”.
He added: “Last year, East Ren households produced 45,000 tonnes of refuse. Lifetime Recycling Village want to process 1.5 million tonnes of waste every year, meaning rubbish will be sent here from all over Scotland to keep the incinerator burning.
“LRV should abandon their plans for this unwanted and unnecessary incinerator once and for all”.
Recent Scottish government figures show 47.4 per cent of East Renfrewshire’s rubbish is now recycled, as opposed to 33.4% five years ago.
This is 7.1% ahead of Scotland’s national average and on course to meet the government target of 50 per cent by 2013.
West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw believes the figures confirm what he has said from the start.
He said: “When East Renfrewshire is doing so well in recycling, the idea that we need a mass waste incinerator to turn Newton Mearns into the ashtray of West Scotland adds insult to injury.
“It has been clear from the beginning that no one wants this plant and it is not needed”.
Meanwhile, Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh doubts these figures will discourage developers.
He told The Extra: “It is most heartening to see residents leading the country. It shows that we don’t need an industrial incinerator here to reduce our wast.
“However, we must remember this disastrous incinerator proposal was never about household waste from East Renfrewshire.
“The developers hope to make massive profits by incinerating tons of commercial waste from across the West of Scotland here on our doorstep.
“The final decision will almost certainly be taken by a Scottish government minister in Edinburgh.
“Everyone who is against the incinerator must be prepared, when the time comes, to make sure this minister knows exactly how we feel about these disastrous plans”.