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Stop the expansion of waste combustion in Avonmouth!

The Workers Party of Britain is opposed to foisting yet another waste-burning operation onto the people of Avonmouth under present conditions.

For many years Avonmouth residents have suffered from air pollution and fly infestations linked to the burning of rubbish in their neighbourhood by waste companies.

Things got so bad back in the summer of 2015 that the BBC did a special report revealing that a waste company called New Earth Solutions was processing much higher levels of waste than was legal, resulting in polluted bales being dumped in the open air, which then served as prime breeding ground for flies.

The company confessed that it had broken the rules, but denied any link with the plague of flies that was laying siege to homes in Avonmouth. Families in the neighbourhood had to resort to eating their meals under a mosquito net to keep the insects at bay.

New Earth Solutions’ contract expired in 2020, mourned by few. But now another company, Zeus Renewables, not only wants to reopen the site, but plans to expand capacity from 120,000 tonnes to 156,000 tonnes of combustible waste annually, with 29 lorry trips there and back daily within a 50 mile radius.

This planned expansion cannot but raise fears of more pollution and more flies, yet the Bristol councillors who met on 11 August rolled over without a fight, “reluctantly” voting unanimously to give Zeus Renewables planning permission and riding roughshod over residents’ complaints that it would add to the “horrendous odours” and air pollution coming from other local waste plants.

In an effort to duck responsibility for subjecting local families to yet more pollution, the councillors said they had to “hope” the Environment Agency, which is responsible for controlling issues such as flies and pollution from waste facilities, would “do its job properly”.

Labour councillor Paul Goggin hastily passed the buck, flannelling: “I feel that we’re going to have to rely on the Environment Agency to make this decision, as the experts, because I think it all does come down to the flies, the pollution, what is going to be burnt, how it’s going to be burnt and what exactly the emissions are going to be. And I’m struggling to find a planning reason for turning this down.”

The Workers Party of Britain deplores the failure of councillors to stand in defence of the welfare of all those families in Avonmouth whom they pretend to represent, and demands that the Zeus Renewables plan be shelved until at least such time as a full scientific investigation, overseen by local residents, is able to do a thorough risk assessment of all waste combustion in Avonmouth.