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Fears over "recycling research" plan


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ENVIRONMEMTAL campaigners fear a new plan for rubbish recycling at Richborough is "incineration by the back door".

A company called Richborough A wants to build a "research and development facility for waste management and materials recycling" at the former power station.

Unsorted household waste from East Kent will be taken to the site, where plastics, metal and paper will be removed for recycling and the leftover rubbish "steam heated".

The company has applied for three years permission for the project, which will trial new technology.

Phil Scott, from Sandwich Action Group for the Environment is worried that if the scheme goes ahead it will open the floodgates for incineration.

"Although incineration is not mentioned we believe it is a way of brining it in by the back door," said Mr Scott.

He described the application as "poor" with little information about what will be happening at the site.

"Although there is an element of recycling it appears items will be burnt in a boiler to generate steam."

SAGE has been trying to remove Richborough from Kent County Council's waste plan.

"If this plan is approved it will open the floodgates for other schemes," said Mr Scott.

He is concerned that SITA, whose plan for an incinerator near the power station was thrown out last year, will be putting a new scheme forward soon.

"If this plan for the power station goes ahead it will set a precedent for that area and bring incineration a step closer, said Mr Scott.

He will be outlining his fear to Sandwich Town Council on Monday before councillors discuss the application.

The plan is currently out for consultation and is due to come before Kent County Council's Planning Committee in March.

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