Incinerator protesters’ ‘walk of shame’ over air pollution fear

Locals concerned about how close proposed incinerators are to local schools, to hold protest walks, from Bolton Brow and Sacred Heart Primary schools, Sowerby Bridge

Locals concerned about how close proposed incinerators are to local schools, to hold protest walks, from Bolton Brow and Sacred Heart Primary schools, Sowerby Bridge

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Campaigners fighting against proposals to create two incinerators near Sowerby Bridge will stage a ‘walk of shame’ over air pollution concerns.

Two sets of plans have been submitted to Calderdale Council by Calder Valley Skip Hire for its sites at the Belmont Recycling Centre on Rochdale Road and another location at Mearclough Road.

In response to the applications, which are currently being considered by the council, two groups of protesters will walk the distance between Bolton Brow Primary Academy and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, near to the proposed sites, on April 20, 10am.

Campaigner Adrian Mitchell said: “To date it is unclear as to what the potential risks, immediate or long term, could be to air quality and health within the area, however this is something as parents of children at these schools we cannot and will not ignore.

“This is not going to go away and we know there is a lot of local outrage at the propositions however we need the assistance of everyone affected to highlight our plight to the rest of the country.

“We are a strong community as proved from the floods of 2016. Floods we can recover from, pollution of the air we cannot, we want our happy valley not a stinky valley.”

But Calderdale Skip Hire managing director Joe Sawrij hit back at the claims.

He said the plants the “family owned business” proposed would be small scale and would incinerate waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill, adding it would “not give rise to any visible emissions”.

Its emissions, he said, had been “demonstrated to have a negligible impact at local level in terms of air quality and health”.

He added: “The site has been designed such that it has no visual impact and will not create any noise disturbance.

“All heat from the process will be recovered to create electricity, with all residual heat being used within the wider site processes, thus reducing the overall environmental impacts of the company’s operations.

“This project is necessary to assist the company in reaching its sustainability and recovery targets of zero wastes to landfill.”

He added the process would be overseen by the council and emissions monitored.