Sep 16 2009 by Gordon Robertson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
THE battle to keep an incinerator out of Coatbridge is a fight for the whole of Monklands, say protesters.
The communities of Carnbroe and Shawhead are in the front line to stop a waste-to-energy plant being built on a site just off the A8.
But organisers of the group MRAPP – Monklands Residents Against Pyrolysis Plant – have urged all the communities of Coatbridge and Airdrie to unite against it.
Maggie Proctor, who is helping to coordinate opposition to plans currently before North Lanarkshire Council, said: “This is not just about Carnbroe and Shawhead, this is about the whole of Monklands.
“If this gets the go-ahead then, with the plants in Bargeddie and Greengairs, Monklands will be in a toxic triangle.
“Who is going to want to live here or come and work here if that happens?
“The fly ash that will come from the plant will fall within an eight-mile radius.”
Thousands have already backed the MRAPP campaign against the bid by Shore Energy to build a pyrolysis plant on the old Shanks McEwan site.
If they get the go-ahead from North Lanarkshire Council, the Perth-based firm will process 160,000 tonnes per annum of domestic, commercial and industrial waste on the site, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Around 4000 signed letters have been collected by MRAPP and thousands have signed a petition.
Shore Energy representatives have met residents at public meetings in the area.
The company insist that the proposed plant is not an incinerator and that half the processed waste will be recycled.
But their presentations have done little to allay fears, which have been voiced not only by residents but by politicians Tom Clarke MP and Elaine Smith MSP.
Gerry Sommers, MRAPP chairman, who will chair the group’s next meeting, tomorrow night in Sikeside Primary School, said: “Every person who has come along to our meetings has been saying the same thing. They are worried about their health and the health of their children.They are worried about the increased traffic volume coming through their area, those big lorries, and the pollution that comes with that. They are also worried about its unsightliness.
He added: “Will the plant deter businesses coming to the area in the future? The 50 jobs that the plant would create could actually cost the area thousands of jobs.
“We would ask the people in Monklands to think about their children’s future and about their economic future and come along to our meetings and let us know what they think.”
The next MRAPP meeting takes place tomorrow night (Thursday) at Sikeside Primary School at 7pm.
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