Anger over visit to German cement plant

Anger over visit to German cement plant
Published: 15 August 2006

Top officials from Rugby are travelling to Germany as part of an investigation into plans to burn household waste at the town’s cement factory. A councillor and three officers from Rugby Borough Council will fly to Germany at the end of this month on a visit to Kollenbach cement plant, near Dortmund. The two-day trip is to investigate the large cement factory there, which already burns household waste, ahead of planned trials to burn the same materials at Rugby’s cement plant in Long Lawford Road.

But a pressure group which wants the Rugby cement factory closed, has criticised the council for sending investigators all the way to Germany when there is a similar factory less than 50 miles away from Rugby at Ketton, Stamford, near Peterborough. And they say the trip will cost Rugby taxpayers thousands of pounds.

But Karen Stone, Rugby Borough Council’s director of housing and environmental health, estimated that the trip would only cost about UK£2000 and defended the decision to go to Germany. She said: "We have tried to get a trip to the Stamford cement factory but they said that there was so much interest in refuse-derived fuel as a way of getting rid of waste, it had been overwhelmed with visiting parties. We couldn’t get a visit this calendar year."

She said she had also had tried to book a visit to Padeswood in Wales where there was a smaller cement factory which has just secured a licence to burn waste. But she added: "The one in Germany is a comparable size. Rugby is a very big plant and that was what we were after. We will try to keep the costs down as much as possible."