A CAMPAIGNER who worked in the incineration industry is leading a pressure group fighting plans to build a plant in Northwich.
Brian Cartwright, chairman of the Cheshire Anti-Incinerator Network (CHAIN), says despite claims, there is 'no justification' for the building of an incinerator in Northwich.
The need for a thermal treatment plant - or incinerator - is outlined in Cheshire's Draft Replacement Waste Plan, drawn up by council chiefs in the Cheshire Waste Partner-ship.
They argue such a plant - likely to be situated on former Brunner Mond land in Lostock Gralam - is necessary to meet Government targets on reducing landfill waste by 2020.
But Brian Cartwright disagrees and, as a former managing director of incinerator contractors Birwelco, he speaks with some authority - as he will at a public meeting in Kings-mead tonight.
Mr Cartwright's home, on Manchester Road, is directly opposite the site earmarked for an incinerator but his feelings on the subject go beyond NIMBY-ism.
He said: 'I worked for Birwelco for 12 years and began to realise a couple of years before I retired this was not the way forward.
'For us to consider oldfashioned burning methods is really archaic and doesn't encourage people to re-cycle, which we have to do. When they build an incinerator it's not all it seems to be. For example, where house prices have dropped in the immediate area.
'There are still health doubts concerning the fallout from incinerators and traffic can increase 10-fold to keep these monsters going.
'If there's not enough waste in the Northwich, it will come from all over.
'I've seen all of this firsthand. There is another way and it does work. We are not talking about something not attainable. In Vale Royal the recycling rate is up to 40% in 10 months and as you push the recycling rate up there is less and less cause for building an incinerator.
'If we can get it up to 40% then it is realistic to get it up to 65% or 70% and at that rate there is no cause for an incinerator.'
'The Cheshire Waste Partnership is incorrect in the need for an incinerator but the county council is sticking to that because they set such a low figure for recycling - they are being safe so they aren't caught with their trousers down.' nVale Royal Borough Council voted not to endorse the Draft Replacement Waste Plan which could include the construction of an incinerator after a meeting on Thursday.
Instead, councillors agreed to compile an alternative letter which supports the Plan in principle but draws the line at an incinerator.
CHAIN is holding a public meeting tonight (Wednesday) at Kingsmead Primary School, Duke's Way, Kingsmead.
The meeting is to discuss the possible dangers to public health from the incineration of waste and the need to recycle materials.
Guest speakers at the meeting, which runs from 7.30-10pm, will be American professor Paul Connett, Ralph Ryder of Communities Against Toxins, CHAIN chairman Brian Cartwright and Cllr Malcolm Gaskill, Vale Royal's lead councillor for waste management.