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Environmental Issues
Going Green

By Alan J Hartley

Hixon Composting Plant



As a local resident I am always interested in any plans for our village and one planning proposal has caught my attention in recent months. The proposal in question concerns building a waste recycling plant for commercial food waste. With all the interest in recycling from the Government down, I assumed that it was a done deal, but was a little puzzled by the local response. The local parish council was firmly against the idea and did it's best to motivate the villagers with what amounted to scare mongering tactics. Bearing in mind that the small village of some thousand or so residents already has 3 industrial estates around the village, it seemed odd that much was made of the additional few extra lorries going through the village, which wouldn't happen anyway because of the weight restriction on the village roads. Also much was made of the strong offensive smells that would be present. This again does not make sense to me, because having worked on my parents garden centre many years ago, I was always under the impression that properly handled composting does not smell, even in a domestic application and presumably the material will be all steralised by heat treatment with steam, etc in this commercial enterprise. We already live in a rural area and so a few lorry loads of untreated waste matter a day are not going to produce a noticeable difference in the level of background smells with all the local farms, the silage trucks and muck spreading, etc.

Surely in this day and age we should be backing companies who are trying to lessen the amount that goes into landfill, not obstruct their development. When I challenged the lady delivering the parish councils scare mongering propaganda leaflet, she failed to answer most of my points and in the end resorted to calling the developers abilities and reputation into question!

The first application failed with a lot of opposition, much of it from residents half a mile or more from the proposed sight, whereas, I was one of only two supporters and incidentally I am one of the nearest residents to the site. It seems that most people like the idea of "Going Green" and recycling as long as it does not affect them and is not in their "Back Yard!"



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Alan J Hartley