In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act —George Orwell
The crime against our neighbourhood is the danger created by millions of Diesel belching HGVs careering up and down our B-roads through our villages. Viridor don’t want to face that reality because they can’t do anything about it because their haulliers. Viridor’s shareholders receive all their dividends because we pay them to move one lot of pollution to another place to pollute that - In other words, from your doorstep to a landfill site.
What’s been difficult for Viridor is to get from the less lucrative burying of waste to their next stage: excessive profits based on the public purse.
- They must make people forget that their only interest is making mountains of money by turning recycled waste into air pollution and mountains of ash.
- Then get them to ignore the thousands of extra HGVs there’ll be using to transport the incinerator fuel to the incinerator and the bottom ash back to a landfill site.
- Then have our public servants pretend that Viridor's plot is not to pollute the environment for massive profits, but that their shareholders have everyone's best interests at heart.
There really are people in positions of power that have done everything to avoid consulting with the public. It's not that anyone's been silenced, but it's very difficult to believe that anyone has been considered, which is an entirely different matter. They've refused to accept independent information. The highways agency or the environmental agency aren't independent and the experts are the residents on the ground. They've even forgotten that it's thier democratic duty to deal with Viridor as a private company, not their bed-mate or partner in grime.
It's their job to scrutinise the pillow talk. An incinerator isn’t an energy reclamation centre, it’s a health hazard and a discredited and unnecessary method of dealing with biodegradable waste. No matter what weasel words and promises they use to influence Council opinions, Viridor's current business model results in creating more environmental pollution. Viridor's PR campaign screams about recycling more. The only reason they want more recylable waste because if it's burned in an incinerator, it turns into money, not because they're in any way concerned with being Green.
Viridor’s charity arm, Viridor Environmental Credits exists to lay the groundwork for misdirection and obfuscation.
Viridor Credits distribute vast sums of money to the areas around their landfill sites - This kind of corruption used to be known as a slush fund to buy off the public. Compliant decision-makers are targeted to sway their votes on Company business. This would be in the form of funnelling grants and charity money towards pet projects or work in the Councillors own wards or towards their families or business interests. In our case, we can't tell what's happened, but the result is that Somerset Waste Board will agree to just about anything Viridor wants so long as no one realises the extent of it.
There are important questions about the financial side of the contracts and the planning permissions, but there are fundamental questions about a system that is so easilly open to abuse.
- What do they hope to gain from this appearance of generosity?
- Landfill Credits Fund was created to benefit people directly affected by landfill sites. It's public money yet Viridor use a skewed points system to assure it gets out to people in the surrounding area who suffer nothing. If it creates positive stories, it's free PR from the public purse.
These questions are pertinent, but they're of little importance when you realise that Viridor don’t care about the community. It’s an illusion - The real game and the scam is being played elsewhere.
- It’s a fact that a Viridor landfill operation is the least lucrative part of their business.
- The most money will be made by creating electricity by burning waste in private incinerators they haven’t built yet.
- They can’t raise the funds to build the incinerator without the revenue stream from Council contracts to collect and sort the waste.
For Viridor the scam is about getting the Officials to agree to their contracts, then everything else falls into place and the heavens rain down gold, not poisoned ash.
The Taunton crew are the lynchpin for Viridor and so that's where all their firepower is aimed. Viridor only ever need 51% and there's enough confused just by the number of hats councillors wear to get this done. There's still enough of the spineless enduring in silence while the Chair runs away from independent thought or outside scrutiny. Or my favourite type, those who think the public are an inconvenience because the people they best answer to are themselves.
These people might be an embarrassment to public service, but the weakest link is actually Viridor’s business model.
The chain of events that Viridor relies on is weakened by the financial system rather than the political: If they don’t have the council contracts, they don’t get to build their incinerator.
No one understands why Dimmer has been roped into this incinerator gaff by Steve Read and Derek Yeomans. The fact is that it shouldn't be on the same table as the incinerator because it's not necessary for the Viridor scam to work. It's not part of any cost-cutting exercise because it's more expensive to truck waste from anywhere in East Somerset to Dimmer then back to Avonmouth than it is via Walpole. I don't expect anyone will find out why Viridor or Somerset Waste Board is so desperate to hold onto Dimmer until it's way too late to object. So we object now.
- When it comes to the Dimmer tip there’s no legitimate argument for Viridor to hold onto it - When any tip is full, it closes. That's always been understood by everyone, including Viridor.
- There’s no hurry to deal with Dimmer. There’s no reason to rush anything through before the entire opeation can be assessed independently.
- No Council or Waste Board has any mandate or financially viable justification to repurpose Dimmer for another generation of people to suffer. There is a viable alternative landfill already operating in the right location near Bridgewater. It's far easier and far more appropriate to send ALL waste from Street, Yeovil and Glastonbury directly to Walpole than have thousands of trucks travelling down B-roads away from the incinerator, only to travel right back again through Clanville & Prestleigh to Avonmouth!
By all accounts, Steve Read at Somerset Waste Board makes a lot of weird statements, rarely answers any questions and is aversed to being in situations where people can question him.
- He says that he'll do everything he can to divert trash away from Dimmer to go directly to Walpole.
- He understands that Walpole is already operating as a landfill site and is in the process of obtaining planning to build a transfer station.
- He knows Walpole is closer to the incinerator, has excellent access to Somerset's major routes, towns and the M5.
However, he throws his entire support behind Viridor building a waste transfer station at Dimmer. Giving the excuse that SWB is under unprecidented pressure to cut costs - Having Viridor stay on at Dimmer is necessary because it's cheaper to extend an existing building (in the wrong place) than start from scratch!
To charcterise his position clearly:
- He justifies his support for building an unnecessary Transfer Station at Dimmer because it's the cheapest option.
- He wants to give Viridor a 30 year contract to operate and build a Transfer Station as a solution to a problem that he knows will be solved by Walpole.
- His stated intent to alleviate the problems around Dimmer is to do precisecly the opposite by planning for all of East Somerset to bring their waste to Dimmer for sorting.
Incineration is not in the public's interest and the only way to guarantee that ALL the waste needed at the Avonmouth incinerator goes to Walpole is to close the Dimmer site.