Campaigners fear Cemex’s UK Barrington cement works could be earmarked as a waste incineration site. Cemex UK Operations, owner of the works, announced earlier this month it was suspending an application to build the new plant at its site because of "uncertainty over the future of CO2 strategy in the UK."
But now environmental campaigners fear the site faces a new threat. In July, Cemex will start a trial burning Climafuel, made from cardboard and plastic packaging waste, and environmental group CamAir says it is concerned that the trial burning could become permanent. The group’s concerns come ahead of the publication of Cambridgeshire County Council’s waste management strategy at the end of the summer.
Rupert Dick, CamAir spokesman, said: "We are very concerned these trials are about to start. Companies are asking for a 20-year contract from the council with someone like Cemex to burn their waste. We do not want the council to be bound by that. That is the angle we are fighting."
A spokesman from the county council said the council had no say on the decision by Cemex to burn Climafuel and said it was the Environment Agency which issued the permit. He also said there was no link between the trial and the county council’s waste strategy. He said: “We have got a waste strategy that centres on reduction, reuse and recycling. "We are already the top county in the country for recycling. However, there is a certain amount of waste which cannot currently be recycled, and we have to find ways of dealing with this. That costs us UK£7 million a year in landfill plus UK£600,000 in Government taxes and this is due to increase.
We have to find ways of dealing with the residue. But whatever happens with Cemex’s trial will not affect the decision we make about ways of dealing with waste."