ENVIRONMENT watchdogs have warned that Bolton could be saddled with a massive waste incinerator following news that Red Moss Tip could be dumped.

As reported in yesterday's BEN, a huge question mark now hangs over the controversial plan for a tip at Red Moss, after planning officers recommended refusal of the scheme proposed by UK Waste.

If the Red Moss Tip plan is scuppered, it could leave waste bosses in the region with a major headache in deciding how to dispose of rubbish.

And Friends of the Earth campaigner, Dennis Watson believes there will be added impetus to vastly increase the size of Raikes Lane Incinerator to dispose of waste from across Greater Manchester.

A plan to rebuild the waste incinerator so it can deal with a massive volume of waste and provide energy for Bolton residents is one of a number of options to be considered.

Other options for Raikes Lane are to refurbish the existing incinerator or to close it down completely and convert it into a waste transfer station.

Greater Manchester Waste Ltd who dispose of rubbish in the region also have plans for a large incinerator at a railway goods yard in Ardwick, Manchester, but Mr Watson believes Raikes Lane is a more attractive proposition because of the massive wave of organised opposition by local Ardwick residents.

A report on the viability of the massive rubbish incinerator will be delivered within the next month to waste bosses at Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority who have repeated the authority's commitment to incineration as a method of disposing of household rubbish. Mr Watson has warned that the possibility of a much bigger waste burner spewing out dioxins and producing toxic ash is now much more likely following news of the possible demise of the Red Moss Tip Plan.

He said: "Although there has been a plan for the huge incinerator at Ardwick there has been a great deal of opposition there and the fact there is already an incinerator at Raikes Lane, gives them a planning advantage.

"The Government now seems to be favouring incineration as a method of disposing of waste and I can see a situation coming where energy from waste will be categorised as recycling as a way of cooking the books and improving the abysmal performance in achieving recycling targets.

"But energy from waste is not recycling at all. It is an incredible waste of energy compared with proper recycling and waste reduction. In fact, it is counter productive because it creates a demand for more waste and there is still the problem of how to dispose of toxic ash from the incinerator."

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