LAST UPDATED: 1 August 2010

This page has been provided by Clive Billenness to enable those with an interest in the construction of EFW (Energy from Waste) plants which will be using Pyrolysis or Gasification to remove gas from waste in order to power gas or steam turbine generators.

Links on this page are to .pdf files which can be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The contents have been found on various sites across the Internet and are reproduced here to assist with private research into this topic. In each case the source authorship is indicated. If you are the author or copyright holder of any of these documents and feel that you copyright has been infringed, please contact me. To start the document download, just click on the title bar. Each document is in .PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to read it. Click here to get a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Also to be found on this page is Clive's written submission to Tockwith Parish Council about the application by BCB to construct such a plant near Tockwith. On 29 January 2008, Tockwith Parish Council resolved to oppose this application. A website giving details of the campaign by Tockwith Residents Association against this proposal can be found at www.tockwith.net.

On 15 December 2009, North Yorkshire County Council's Planning Committee voted unanimously to refuse the BCB application - this site will now therefore concentrate on policy issues at European and National level to identify how the minds of government can be changed away from supporting this dirty and risky technology.

Please cite the authors of individual articles if you intend to quote these in any submissions or written information you will be presenting about a planning application for a plant like these.

In the interests of balance and impartiality, this site also includes publications placed here at the request of professional advisers to BCB.

I will continue to update this page so please revisit regularly.



The European Commission states that "incineration shall mean thermal treatment of waste in an incineration plant as defined in Article 3(4) or a coincineration plant as defined in Article 3(5) of Directive 2000/76/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2000 on the incineration of waste.! 'Incineration plant’ means any stationary or mobile technical unit and equipment dedicated to the thermal treatment of wastes with or without recovery of the combustion heat generated. This includes the incineration by oxidation of waste as well as other thermal treatment processes such as pyrolysis, gasification or plasma processes in so far as the substances resulting from the treatment are subsequently incinerated. This definition covers the site and the entire incineration plant including all incineration lines, waste reception, storage, on site pretreatment facilities, waste-fuel and air-supply systems, boiler, facilities for the treatment of exhaust gases, on-site facilities for treatment or storage of residues and waste water, stack, devices and systems for controlling incineration operations, recording and monitoring incineration conditions.

See here for detailed consideration what constitutes an 'incinerator' and then make your own mind up


Protection from Defamation Proceedings under the
Defence of Qualified Privilege/Fair Comment

The question sometimes arises during heated public campaigns over whether you can be sued for expressing an opinion. This article explains how the defences of Fair Comment and Qualified Privilege will overcome an allegation of defamation provided there is no malice in the original publication

"Fair does not mean reasonable, but signifies the absence of malice. The views expressed can be exaggerated, obstinate or prejudiced, provided they are honestly held."

(Uploaded 10 February 2008)


A report in the Independent Newspaper suggests that UK waste incinerator operators
may have to IMPORT waste in order to maintain their economic viability.

The Independent on Sunday today suggests that organisations operating waste incinerators may not be able to maintain them on an economic basis without importing waste to feed them. In effect, any location where an incinerator is located will become a dumping ground for waste from other areas. The full article can be seen here:


One thing which any campaign group should do is immediately lobby their councillors to ensure that any planning consent or contract prohibits the incineration of waste not originating within the boundaries of the planning authority area where the proposed plant is to be located. This is fully conformant with the 'Proximity Principle' but may destroy the economic viability of some proposals.

(Uploaded 1 August 2010)


What IS "Advanced Thermal Treatment" of Waste - and how is it different from the application submitted by BCB in 2008 ?

Tockwith residents have recently received a letter from BCB describing a proposed future planning application for a hazardous waste plant. This guide prepared by DEFRA describes the range of technologies classed as "Advanced Thermal Treatment". These include Pyrolysis and Gasification - in other words the same technologies included in last year's application. Points of interest within the report are that:

(Uploaded 8 February 2009)


Is the Incineration of Hazardous Waste of Any Benefit to National Obligations
to meet the Renewables Obligation Under The Kyoto Protocol ?

This page summarises the report of some recent research by a team of German scientists produces evidence that hazardous waste incineration produces CO2 which does not meet the Kyoto Protocol definition of 'renewable' and must be considered in relation to the Government's obligation to generate electricity under the Renewables Obligation

(Uploaded 25 October 2008)

Is Waste Incineration REALLY Carbon-Neutral or even Carbon-Beneficial ?

This report by Eunomia Consulting considers whether waste incineration plants can really claim to be more 'Green'

Uploaded 20 May 2008


How much greenhouse gas do gasification plants produce and are they 'greener' than other forms of electricity generation ?

This short discussion piece attempts to estimate how many tons of CO2 greenhouse gas a gasification plant might produce and compares it with other forms of electricity generation. It uses the figures available from BCB's original proposal to illustrate how to calculate the amount. Then see how many miles you could drive a family car to produce the same amounts of greenhouse gas

(Uploaded 23 March 2008)


The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators
4th Report of the British Society for Ecological Medicine

This 2005 report produces devastating evidence of the links between incineration of waste and health impacts on the young and the vulnerable.

(Uploaded 18 March 2008)


Article from Science Direct on a
Comparison of ecological effects and costs of communal waste management systems

This is a very interesting peer-reviewed report published by two scientists from the Department of Waste Management, BOKU, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, looking at different ways of managing waste. It warns that incinerating plastics produce up to 3 times as much greenhouse gas as burning the thermal equivalent of hydrocarbon fuel.

(uploaded 17 March 2008)


Comparison of Overall Economic Cost of Carbon Emissions
From Different Waste Treatment Methodologies

New report for the Greater London Authority dated January 2008 prepared by Eunomia Research and Consulting

The findings of this report indicate that the true carbon cost per ton of waste treated through Gasification is £10.71 per ton, more than the cost of simple incineration and 20th lowest out of 24 methods considered. The most efficient disposal method costs only £4.48 per ton
(uploaded 16 March 2008)


 EC Directive 2000/76/EC

This is the European Directive which regulates the Prevention of Pollution and its Control (the 'PPC' regime). It includes a number of very strict standards which any proposed plant to incinerate waste must adhere to. It also makes provision for the public to be able to monitor the measurements and operation of incineration plants.

(Uploaded 23 February 2008)

Public participation or public relations?

An article by the University of Wollongong about how the public consultation processes may not be truly intended to be democratic consultation and how campaigners seize the initiative to sway government decisions.

(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)

Energy from Waste - The Way Forward

Presentation by John Birchmore, MD of Shrews Ltd, a company involved in the EFW project at Dumgavel, Dumfries. His background information and suggested criteria for what makes a good EFW site are very interesting,

(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)


Report by Dr Mark Broomfield of Enviros Consulting

Mr Martin Dale, adviser to BCB, has drawn my attention to this submission by Dr Mark Broomfield to Surrey County Council. Dr Broomfield considers the issues of dioxin emissions very thoroughly (it should be noted that there is no suggestion that the proposed BCB plant will output any significant quantity of dioxins). Although Dr Broomfield accepts that data about the health impacts from gasification plants is limited, he states that

Nitrogen Oxide Outputs from Gasification

This document gives warnings about the toxic effects of the Nitrogen Oxides emitted by a Gasification Plant, which are much higher than those of a conventional incinerator. This article is interesting because their measurements for a given quantity of material incinerated correspond very closely to those provided by BCB in their application, suggesting that the article's science is well-researched since it accords with opinions of BCB's professional advisers. (Uploaded 1 February 2008)


Link to Report on Air Pollution in the UK

This is a link to a report produced about the connection between social deprivation and exposure to pollution
(Uploaded 1 February 2008)


PM10s from Nitrogen Oxide - A Double Whammy

Did you know that Nitrogen Oxide can also create dangerous PM10s through condensation ? This link to a short extract at Strathclyde University warns about ways a gasification plant can generate far more PM10s than an Environmental Impact Statement may suggest.

This is another good link on the same topic from the European Environment Agency

(Uploaded 1 February 2008)


Published on this site at the request of
Mr Martin Dale of the Plaza Consultancy, Advisers to BCB.

A Position Statement by the Health Protection Agency on Municipal Solid Waste Incineration

This is an interesting 2005 report by a medical agency associated with the Dept of Health which offers some re-assurance in relation to dioxins, furans and other emissions although it should be noted that the report cautions about the effects of airborne particles. It advises that "the contribution to local pollutant levels should be assessed on a site specific basis" and warns that "it is accepted that the lack of evidence of adverse effects might be due to the limitations regarding the available data."

(Uploaded 2 February 2008)


The Mathematics of Studying Health Effects from Incineration

For anyone interested in the statistical mathematics which underpin medical studies, this is a very detailed and very technical article which shows how different results can be obtained from the application of different models.

(Uploaded 2 February 2008)

Two visits to Pyrolysis Plants documented by the UK Improvement and Development Agency

Click here for Report 1

Click here for Report 2

The IDeA is an agency of unimpeachable character dedicated to improving the performance of public authorities. On their website there are two reports of visits to overseas plants by UK local authority officers. Both comment about the risk of smell from the plant.

(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)


Review of Gasification by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

This report includes detals of the Gasification plant being constructed at Dargavel, Dumfries.
(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)


Pyrolysis and Gasification Factsheet by Juniper Consultancy Services

Good background reading. Warns about reliability issues.
(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)


Is inhaled ammonia neurotoxic?

 An article by Kaye H. Kilburn published in the peer-reviewed Environmental Management and Health Journal , Vol. 11 No. 3, 2000, pp. 239-249
Gives rise to concern about the potential effects of Ammonia inhalation.
(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)


Origin and Health Impacts of Emissions of Toxic By-Products and Fine Particles from Combustion and Thermal Treatment of Hazardous Wastes and Materials

Very informative article on the medical consequences of inhalation of microparticulate material created through thermal treatments.
(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)

Energy from Waste Incineration

Article from an Icelandic company about the experimental plant at Husavik, Iceland, which is cited as the reference site for the BCB proposal for Tockwith. (Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)

Incineration and Human Health -
State of Knowledge of the Impacts of Waste Incinerators on Human Health

Interesting article published by researchers at the University of Exeter - contains a good summary of the body of scientific studies on this topic.
(Uploaded 26 Jan 2008)

Copy of Submission by Councillor Clive Billenness to Tockwith with Wilstrop Parish Council regarding the application by BCB to construct a gasification plant in Tockwith

Click here for Main Submission

Click here to for Appendix containing numerical and spatial data