BCCF Oppose the Covanta Incinerator at Stewartby & Object to an Environment Agency Permit.

CovantaBedfordshire Climate Change Forum URGENTLY ask all members and those concerned more broadly about climate change, sustainability and air quality to make written objections to the Environment Agency granting a permit to Covanta to operate  a ‘waste’ incinerator at Rookery Pit Stewartby where they have already gained planning permission.

For background and information on Covanta’s planned incinerator see below and we advise you to look at bedsagainstincinerator.wordpress.com You can also join the campaign group on Facebook (Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator)  or follow them on Twitter (@BedsACI)

What can you do? Help leaflet, put up posters, share widely on social media. ABOVE ALL, BEFORE THE NOVEMBER 7th DEADLINE, please object on environmental grounds via the links to the appropriate Environment Agency Page  https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/mk43-9ly-additional-information/ From this page you can submit your comments and also view the Environmental Permit documents. This is to try to prevent the EA granting a permit to operate which is all tat Covanta now need! Note that as planning permission has already been granted, objections to the Environment Agency must be on environmental grounds (air pollution and risk to human health from nanoparticles, ash, pollution to local water, general nuisance, detriment to local wildlife 24/7 etc).



The Covanta Incinerator


size_comparision_chart_0616mmThe Main Building will be 43 meters tall –  nearly the height of the Cardington Hangers.

The Chimney Stack will be a minimum of 105 meters tall – considerably higher than the remaining Stewartby Brickwork Chimneys.

The Incinerator will be dominating feature from all parts of the Marston Vale, Millbrook, Ampthill Park and the Greensand Ridge



The Building will be sited against the railway line at the edge of the Millennium Country Park

The surrounding area is currently rich with wildlife incorporating various habitats.

The plant will emit a great deal of light 24/7 – in a previously non-lit rural setting

The plant will emit noise 24/7 – in a previously quiet rural location

The Vale location increases concerns regarding proper dispersion of emissions from the stack


There is a lack of information regarding emissions from the incinerators chimney(s) and considerable concern regarding long-term health implications given the plants 40 year lifespan

Concern regarding Vale location and proper dispersion of emissions

One of the by-products of the incinerator is Ash.  Accounting for nearly 25% of the original mass burned.  A proportion of this is classed as TOXIC waste which will need to be transported to a toxic waste landfill via road through Bedfordshire.

Covanta has a long documented history of repeatedly being fined over toxic emissions


Planning permission granted in 2013 allows HGV movements of up to 594 a day -Covanta estimated an additional 100 vehicle movements to allow for staff and visitors

Vehicles would be arriving and departing between 7am and 11pm – 6 days a week

The volume of lorry and associated traffic needed to sustain such a large scale industrial area will be beyond the capacity of the roads in this area

What happens when there is an issue on the preferred routes for the HGVs.  Will they take alternatives through our Towns and Villages?


Covanta is partnering with Veolia who will be providing the majority of the waste which we are advised will be mainly Commerical and could originate from as far away as Birmingham

Incinerators need constant ‘feeding’ to be economically viable. This has the potential to damage the push for ambitious recycling targets.

Are more Incinerators needed with increased recycling targets? Consultancy Eunomia said in May 2016 that the 104.2 million tonnes per year of treatment capacity across Northern Europe will exceed the 90.4 million tonnes of residual waste expected to be produced in 2030. To put things in context Bedford Borough’s black bin waste is approximately 40,000 tonnes per annum and efforts must be put into reducing this figure in line with a transition to a circular economy.

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