OPPONENTS of a controversial household waste 'incinerator' have hotly disputed claims that they have refused to meet with the companies behind it.
Dee Borders Waste Action Group are opposing the proposed plant at Wrexham, fearing toxic emissions could be blown across Cheshire.
Members are incensed by comments from waste consortium HLC, and partners Compact Power, who had expressed 'frustration' that opponents had refused to meet them and enter dialogue.
DBWAG Chairwoman Caroline Munro, of Tilston, said: 'We have met senior personnel of HLC and many of our members attended their exhibition and discussed issues with them when this whole project was first launched.'
The project involves recycling household waste and destroying the remainder using a high tech incinerator called a pyrolysis and gasification plant.
Mrs Munro agreed members of DBWAG had not visited the HLC incinerator at Neath Port Talbot but said there was no point since the company was no longer proposing this incinerator in Wrexham, but the next generation technology.
'In any case, do we really need to inspect a plant that caught fire and burned for four days and has experienced a number of production problems causing environmental worries?' she added.
Leaving the door open for discussions, Mrs Munro added: 'The Compact Power system is of interest to us and we have indicated to the planning department and to the consortium that we would welcome the opportunity to visit when a planning application has been submitted.'
Mrs Munro attacked Wrexham Council for being illogical and inconsistent in its approach to the subject.
She added: 'It's ironic that when Wrexham Council was supporting HLC's original plan for an incinerator and held a public meeting to try and persuade us all that it was the very latest technological method of waste disposal, they refused a planning application by another company for a pyrolysis plant. Now the incinerator scheme has been dropped and the council appears to be supporting the idea of pyrolysis because they have agreed to reopen negotiations with HLC and Compact Power.'
HLC has confirmed in a state-ment that it is talking to Wrexham Council again. Spokeswoman Judith Harper explained that the project, which was launched in 1998, had been beset by difficulties. Residents were opposed to the original incineration scheme which had to be 'called in' by the Welsh Assembly.
Then HLC had dropped the original scheme and decided to look at pyrolysis and gasification - which is claimed to be more environmentally-friendly - but the earmarked building had been sold to another organisation in July of this year.
Horacio Carvalho, president of HLC Group said: 'We are delighted that the council will be inviting us back to the negotiating table. HLC has invested huge resources in this project to provide Wrexham with an innovative system to recycle and compost the borough's waste.'
HLC plans that the Wrexham Resource Recovery Centre will become operational in 2006.