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Tyre-burning plan set to be backed; RUGBY CEMENT'S CONTROVERSIAL IDEA GOES TO COUNTY COUNCIL.

Byline: DUNCAN GIBBONS

CONTROVERSIAL plans to burn tyres at Rugby Cement look certain to be supported by Warwick-shire County Council.

The Environment Agency has asked Shire Hall for its opinion after the company applied for a permit to incinerate chopped rubber at its Lawford Road plant, in Rugby, as a partial alternative to fossil fuel.

Officers are asking members of the regulatory committee to back the scheme, provided the Environment Agency gives assurances about it.

John Deegan, director of planning, transport and economic strategy for the authority, said: "We have no objections to the proposal provided that the Environment Agency is satisfied that the proposal will not cause harm to residents, flora or fauna, and that sufficient baseline information exists, particularly on the health of the population and soil surveys, to assess any long-term impact."

The Environment Agency has the final say on whether Rugby Cement can burn old tyres.

If approved, the firm would carry out a six-month trial period before submitting a report to the agency prior to full authorisation.

Local residents, particularly in New Bilton and Long Lawford, are worried about pollution.

Mr Deegan said that during the trial, Rugby Cement would have to "continuously monitor kiln stack gases and periodically monitor the clinker and cement kiln dust for dioxins and furans".

Some by-products of the burning are very toxic but Mr Deegan said these were "expected to fall within the level permitted" under current European hazardous waste incineration directives.

He said there were benefits to burning tyres in cement kilns, including addressing the problems of disposal in landfill and reducing the amount of fossil fuels and resultant CO2 emissions.

The UK produces nearly 500,000 tonnes of scrap tyres each year. Seventy per cent of these are recovered but most of the remainder are disposed of in landfill.

County councillors recently visited the plant to see how the firm proposed to burn tyres.

People have until the end of December to object to the Environment Agency.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 13, 2001
Words:330
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