New report: Unreported and harmful emissions from incinerators across England

Harmful emissions from incinerators are going unreported says new research which highlights serious public health failings.

Copies of the full report can be read here:

The new report reveals:

• Incinerators exceed pollution reporting thresholds, but due to a loophole the public is not informed

• Levels of emissions of harmful ‘particulate matter’ and NOx and the associated costs to society

• A lack of regulation and official guidance ignored

Research by UKWIN (UK Without Incineration Network) has shown that waste incinerators are not reporting emissions of harmful particulates and the Government has failed to adequately regulate them.

The report, Waste Incineration and Particulate Pollution: A failure of Governance is launched on Tuesday 17 July in the House of Lords, with cross party support from MPs; John Grogan (Labour), Philip Davies (Conservative) and Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Tyler. The report reveals for the first time the levels of emissions of harmful particulate matter (PM) and Nitrous Oxide (NO) from incinerators across England.

It also shows that waste incinerators are regularly exceeding thresholds where they should be reporting emissions, but are failing to reveal their pollution level.

Incinerators release particulate matter (PM) into the air as part of the waste burning process.

The smallest particles, PM2.5 and smaller, are invisible and especially dangerous to health. Particulate matter (PM) and NO can aggravate breathing problems, heart and lung disease. PM and NOx are emitted by diesel cars, which the government is now working to phase out.

The report shows that the Particulate Matter (PM) released by incinerators in England in 2017 is equivalent to the PM emissions from more than a quarter of a million 40-tonne lorries travelling 75,000 miles a year, and the NOx emissions released by incinerators in England in 2017 are equivalent to around 80,000 lorries travelling 75,000 miles a year, using comparison figures from the Road Haulage Association and Transport for London,

Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator of the UK Without Incineration Network, said: “For decades incinerators in England have been emitting significant quantities of pollution and greenhouse gasses. There is a substantial cost to society associated with these harmful emissions.

“This cost should be met by incinerator operators in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle. Operators should also be required to be more transparent about their emissions and to do more to monitor and control the pollution they cause”.

Philip Davies MP said: “Incinerators are being foisted on local communities right across the country and yet the damage that they cause to the local environment is not fully known. There really needs to be a suspension on new incinerators until there is better information available”

John Grogan MP said: “The case for a tax on waste incineration, to mirror the Landfill Tax, and for a moratorium on new incinerators is now very strong.”

Lord Tyler said: “Clean air is vital to health but the Government seems unconcerned about adequately monitoring the emissions from incinerators and has allowed this monitoring loop hole to go unchecked. We must tighten up monitoring procedures and fully investigate the impact before allowing any further incinerators to be built.”

The report calls for:

• The development and implementation of accurate systems to measure the particulate matter that incinerators release, accompanied by proper enforcement

• Stricter control of PM1 emissions

• Incinerators to be taxed on their emissions

• Moratorium on new incineration capacity in recognition of the issues identified in the report

Copies of the full report can be read here:

Posted in air quality, press release journalism | Leave a comment

Save the world and get 20 quid (esp. men…)

please share…


Would you like to do more to tackle climate change and poverty? Do you find it difficult to respond to these global challenges in your everyday life? We are looking for participants who would be interested in recording and reflecting on their everyday actions for a period of two weeks (through an online diary) and discussing their thoughts with a member of our project team.

As a token of our thanks, participants can choose to receive a £20 high street voucher or we will donate the same amount to Oxfam’s ‘Combat Climate Change’ campaign on your behalf.

If you would like to be involved, please complete this five-minute survey, leaving your contact details on the last page:

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Lucy Powell and “carbon literacy”- no answers yet… #manchester #climate

The Labour Party’ MP Lucy Powell (Manchester Central) has repeatedly declined to say whether she has completed the much-vaunted “carbon literacy” training that various people in Manchester seem to think is worth a bucket of warm spit.

On 26 June the editor of MCFly (who lives in Manchester Central constituency, i.e. has the pleasure of Ms Powell as his MP) wrote to her as follows

Dear Ms Powell

I note with despair but not surprise that you voted to expand Heathrow.

I have questions for you about your “carbon literacy” status –

a) Have you completed the ‘carbon literacy’ training, developed by Manchester’s “Cooler Projects”,
and supported by Manchester City Council? If so, when did you do this?

b) If not, do you intend to do it?

c) If you do not intend to do it, why not.

Thanks very much.
There was an automated reply sent back the same day.
On July 5 I wrote again

Dear Ms Powell

nine days ago I sent you this
Nine days ago I got an automated reply

Still waiting
Thank you

Today I got an standard  response (clearly the one sent out to anyone who thinks that voting for airport expansion is suicidal, ecocidal etc etc.). It’s below, just for the lulz.
Hilariously, there was no response to the straightforward questions about carbon literacy…. This has been pointed out to Ms Powell (or rather, her office junior).

Thanks for what looks suspiciously like the standard letter sent out to everyone who contacted you about your Heathrow decision.

I will repeat (now for the third time) some very very straightforward questions. I do look forward to your reply.

That reply from the good MP-

Dear Marc

Thank you for the email about the vote on whether to approve the additional Terminal at Heathrow- this is a difficult subject and one which people have strongly held views on.

After much thought, I reached the conclusion that Heathrow expansion was the right thing for the country. It will see additional jobs created and will improve connectivity with the rest of the world. The expansion was strongly backed by Unions who want to see their member’s jobs protected and new jobs created

Heathrow, as the UK’s major hub airport, has been in need of additional capacity for some time and successive Governments have put off making a decision about its future.

Heathrow wrote to all MPs to say that they are confident that their plans meet what has been asked of them in terms of air quality, noise, carbon emissions and ensuring the whole of the UK benefits. One thing they were keen to highlight is a triple-lock of measures to ensure the project does not delay the UK’s compliance with legal limits for air quality; plans to further reduce Heathrow’s noise impacts; and using supply chain opportunities to benefit small businesses in the regions.  They also have a sustainability strategy which sets out their aspiration for carbon neutral growth.   These conditions will be set out as a legal requirement and should they not be met, the expansion won’t go ahead.

Obviously I recognise the tension between expansion and our commitments to reduce our impact on climate change and it is right that this is continuously scrutinised.

As a Manchester MP, one of my concerns is about the benefits to the UK as a whole. Whilst I recognise that there will be supply chain benefits across the country, I think that the Government need to do much more to address our infrastructure deficiency in the North. Connectivity improvements across the North are vital for our future and I coordinated a letter on behalf of GM MPs to ask for assurances that the North would receive the investment it needs. I have attached a copy of this letter for your information.

Infrastructure investment does not start and end at Heathrow expansion and whilst we may disagree on this issue- I hope we will agree on calling for the North to receive its fair share of investment.

Best wishes




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More toxic Greater #Manchester air looms. Silence from Andy Burnham…

So, months on from the world-changing “Green Summit” it turns out that the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is not responding to legitimate questions from the Breath Clean Air Group (sent on the 24th June – see below).  What a surprise…   Below is a press release from them.


Trafford’s Breathe Clean Air Group has written an open letter to Greater Manchester
Mayor Andy Burnham, and the leaders of the 10 GM Councils, warning of the dangers
of BIOMASS heat and power systems and Energy from Waste (EfW) projects. The
warning comes as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority announced a £15
million European loan programme to subsidise renewable energy projects.
“When it’s recently been announced that Manchester’s air is more toxic than London’s
and Greater Manchester has just staged a Clean Air Day and about to stage a Green
Summit, it appears criminal that our leaders intend to pollute Greater Manchester’s air
even more with incinerated wood and waste emissions.” said Peter Kilvert, Chairman
of the Breathe Clean Air Group.
Although the European loan scheme will support different type of “renewable” energy
schemes, such as solar, wind and hydro projects, it will also include burning biomass
and burning waste. The European Union classifies Biomass schemes as “low carbon”
when in fact scientists have proven that burning wood produces much more carbon
dioxide than burning coal, therefore adding to Planet Earth’s global warming. Even
worse, burning biomass produces masses of tiny Particulate Matter that when breathed
in, can be absorbed into the bloodstream, poisoning the body’s organs. This can lead to
poor lung function, respiratory disease, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and dementia.
Children are at greater risk as their lungs have not fully developed.
Burning waste will also emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and a cocktail of
volatile chemicals similar to cigarette smoking. Public Health England has still not
released its report after four years, about how dangerous it is to live near an
incinerator. The Office of National Statistics has released statistics to show that infant
mortality is higher downwind of Incinerators.
It is possible that the European grant could be used for district heating schemes, and
for heating schools and blocks of flats. People and pupils in the vicinity of these
projects are at great risk.
“We want Andy Burnham to give the residents of Greater Manchester a pledge that
this new funding will not be provided for projects that produce toxic air and worsen
the already dangerous levels of air pollution,” said Mr Kilvert. “In fact, in the longer
term, we have asked for, and have been ignored so far, that Andy Burnham declares
Greater Manchester a Biomass Free Zone,” he added.



That letter – which was also sent to the ten leaders of Councils in Greater Manchester.  None of the eleven politicians has bothered to reply….



Chairman, Peter Kilvert, 17, Mount Drive, Urmston, Manchester, M41 9PY


To Andy Burnham,                                              Date: 24th June 2018

GM Mayor,


Churchgate House,

56, Oxford Street,


M1 6EU.


Dear Andy,


I am extremely disappointed that you can boast about the new European Regional Development Fund loan that the Greater Manchester Combine Authority will lend to Developers who will use it to provide BIOMASS burning heat and power schemes and Energy from Waste projects.

I know that you know that such schemes will emit airborne carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, Particulate Matter, Volatile Organic Compounds and heavy metals that will have a serious ill-health impact on the local population.

You have just run Greater Manchester Clean Air Day and will also run a Green Summit which recognises the already over-polluted air in the Greater Manchester Region. In fact recent reports say that Manchester’s air is now more polluted than London’s air.

I am appealing to you to pledge NOT to use this European fund for supporting Biomass schemes and Energy from Waste projects in Greater Manchester.

I also request that you declare Greater Manchester a BIOMASS FREE ZONE.

Yours sincerely

Peter Kilvert

Chairman, Breathe Clean Air Group


Posted in press release journalism | Tagged | 1 Comment

#saddleworthfire – #climate change increases risk, requires management, says 2010 paper

So, back in 2010 academic research was published by researchers at Manchester Business School and Manchester Metropolitan University.


2010 climate research

You can read the whole thing here.

MCFly sez: We are an exceptionally technologically advanced, and even more exceptionally stupid species.  We seem utterly determined to kill ourselves and take everything else down with us. And we have the tools to do the job. The second half of the 21st century is going to make the firstst half of the 20th look like a golden age of peace love and understanding.

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Saddleworth Moor fire – Wildlife Trusts response #Manchester #pressrelease

So, if you are in Manchester you can probably smell and taste Saddleworth Moor right now.


Stolen from bbc:

If you’re asthmatic, for god’s sake, have your inhalers on you, and make sure people know what to do if you get unwell.  Meanwhile, this just arrived from the Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Lancashire Wildlife Trust-


Wildlife Trusts saddened by news of burning moorland

Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Lancashire Wildlife Trust would like to thank the fire service for their efforts in dealing with the devastating fire on Saddleworth Moor. Both Wildlife Trusts cover the area affected by the fire and are deeply saddened by the news.

“Our thoughts are with the people who have been affected by the fire and we’d like to recognise the valiant efforts that have been made by the fire service to try and control the blaze,” said Charlotte Harris, Chief Executive at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

“On a wildlife front, moorland fires on this scale can be devastating,” explained Charlotte. “As it’s peatland, once alight it’s difficult to put out and control as it can burn underground and reignite, as the last couple of days have shown. Our thoughts are with the residents and farmers affected.”

Peatland is a carbon store. Therefore fires like this release the locked up carbon into the atmosphere having a long-term effect on our environment. Both Wildlife Trusts are involved in peatland restoration projects across Cheshire and Lancashire to rewet moors and mosslands. This not only holds back water to reduce flood risk, it also reduces the risk of fires on this scale.

Director of Conservation at the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Tim Mitcham said: “The heat generated by the fires is devastating to the fragile upland moorland. Only the most mobile of animals escape and of course we are in peak breeding period for many – from curlew to ant. These animals are on the moors because they like the conditions they find there and ultimately depend upon the plants, many species depend upon specialist moorland plants like cotton-grass and heather. It will have devastating consequences on birds like the curlew which are feeding chicks at the moment. Meadow pipit also nest in tussocks of grass, nests and chicks will not have survived a fire like this.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be established. “The habitat will recover but it will take time”, said Charlotte Harris. “Fires like this can start spontaneously, especially during hot dry weather as we are experiencing at the moment. Unfortunately, they are sometimes started deliberately or as a result of careless behaviour too. Visitors to any wild places should make sure they are careful not to start a fire accidentally from discarded cigarettes, unattended BBQs, or from leaving litter especially glass.”

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Permaculture Convergence 2018 – #Manchester 20-23 September

from here –

National Permaculture Convergence

National Permaculture Convergence 20 - 23 September 2018 Hulme, Manchester

Tickets available now!

The National Permaculture Convergence, organised by the Permaculture Association, will be taking place in Hulme, Manchester from 20 – 23 September.

The convergence is bursting with opportunities for learning, networking and demonstrating why permaculture is at the forefront in shaping a thriving future for everyone.

The converging crises of our world and the great uncertainties of our time are calling us to step up. Permaculture represents a worldview that is holistic, positive and has wellbeing of all at its centre: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Shares.

The convergence will explore the many ways permaculture is interacting with and influencing our world. We see this convergence as being about permaculture at the edges – where we cross-pollinate with other networks and take a lead in designing a better Britain. Where better to begin than in thriving Manchester?

Let’s use this convergence as an opportunity to bring forward the change we want to see in the world and build the networks we need to do this.

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