We\'ve shut down Britain\'s \'flagship\' waste incinerator in South London...
...to protect our children from cancer. And we\'re not leaving until Onyx, the French multinational owners, close it for good.
At 7.30 yesterday morning, one team of volunteers broke into the SELCHP plant in Lewisham, attaching themselves to the huge rubbish grabbing claws in the tipping hall, shutting off the fuel supply to the furnace.
Meanwhile our climbers began scaling the 100-metre chimney to stop the plant releasing poisonous gases into the air. They\'ve been barricaded inside the chimney all night.
A second team of climbers spent yesterday scaling the main building, trying to unfurl our banner in the screaming gale - to tell London that \'Burning Rubbish Makes Us Sick\'. Eventually the strength of the wind tore the banner, and the team came down. They were all arrested last night, and have been released on bail.
The third team is still inside the tipping hall - a stinking pit of rotting waste. Six of them are chained to the grab cranes, preventing them from feeding the furnaces, keeping the incinerator closed.
They\'ve been there all day, and all night. And they are still there this morning.
This incinerator releases chemicals called dioxins - classified as causing cancer by the World Health Organisation - in significant quantities.
The government has already warned us that one in three people consume more dioxins than is safe - and that half of all babies and toddlers exceed that limit. The Environment Minister has already admitted that emissions from incinerators are extremely toxic.
But the SELCHP plant continues to spew them out - burning rubbish from the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street, as well as several London boroughs - and the Environment Agency do nothing about it.
Take our Incinerator Tour - and you\'ll see exactly how this SELCHP plant works. It\'s a lot less pleasant than the operators tell you.
More incinerators are on the way
The Government is actually encouraging councils to build more incinerators. Fifteen working incinerators in Britain could become well over a hundred, within the next ten years.
Such a building programme would increase overall dioxin pollution and represent a massive waste of valuable resources that could come from recycling. Lewisham Council, which plays host to SELCHP, has estimated that it could recycle 92% of its waste but in fact recycles only 4%. In contrast the city of Edmonton in Canada has cut its waste by 70%, Flanders in Belgium by 59% and Canberra in Australia by 56%.
Instead of being reckless with our health the government should replace SELCHP and the rest of Britain\'s incinerators with modern schemes to re-use, recycle and compost our rubbish.
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