Egger, brown bins and recycling

The plans to expand Egger, Europe’s most advanced particle board factory, have met with some disapproval but all of the concerns can be addressed.

The economic future of the Hexham constituency is closely tied in with land based businesses of all descriptions – including forestry. Simply growing things is not enough; we have to add value to the product to get maximum economic return into the area. Egger is simply the largest example of the type. In this very rural constituency the largest future economic potential lies in growing food, energy and industrial raw materials. Handled correctly, our economic future can be brilliant. If special steps are required to make that future happen and meet the concerns of residents, then we should take those steps

Large factories can be made to disappear completely. Building camouflage was developed to a very high degree in WW2. The planners could insist on much greater degrees of concealment without excessive expense. The tree planting schemes will, naturally, take years to work.

The plume over the factory is only steam and need not be a source of anxiety.

Our brown bin is paid for and used all the time for those materials that will not compost in the garden. If it had been my decision I would not have levied the £20 extra fee this year. The sums raised and the number of households paying seems to have made the whole exercise rather futile and made improving things in the future that bit more difficult. Recycling is an area in which the UK has a great distance to go to catch up our European neighbours – we must improve our performance.

A proportion of our rubbish can be reused, some can be composted, some can be made into fuels and some can be burnt to generate power. At the end of the process, there should be almost nothing left – and consequently almost nothing to go into landfill.

To encourage recycling we should introduce avoidable charges. The more efficient each household is at sorting its rubbish, the less it pays in collection charges.

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2 Responses to “Egger, brown bins and recycling”

  1. Green Says:

    Yes Steven, you are right – to some extent; but you are so very wrong too. The economic future of Hexham is partly dependent on the location of the Egger factory – at present. But as you should be aware communities are adaptable and Northumbrians are well known for their ability to adapt.

    You are right that special steps should be taken to ensure a brilliant economic future. Those steps, however, are not being taken. Tynedale and now Northumberland councils have never shown any guts in standing up to the bullying tactics of Egger. They have never properly listened to, nor defended residents whose lives are seriously affected by Egger’s lack of corporate social responsibility.

    The most recent expansion plans; to build a huge shed on the last remaining viable piece of development land in Tynedale are, by general agreement, outrageous. There’s little point in me repeating the argument here – it’s all well documented on the Eggerwatch web site. if you read the council’s own documents, the barrister’s report and the correspondence between the council and objectors, you will find yourself better informed.

    Large factories can be made to disappear completely? What? Just show me one please. Within 10 miles of Hexham there are 3 large factories which have had no attempt to ‘make them disappear completely.’ All of them can be seen from the A69 and from many other tourist routes too.

    The tree planting scheme incorporated in Egger’s 2005-7 developments is ineffective, will take years to mature and does not address any of the issues of screening the factory from the multitude of viewing points around the district – particularly those in elevated positions.

    Egger’s plume – please take the trouble to read the Environmental Department’s documentation on the WESP and its emissions. It’s all on http://www.eggerwatch.com. Egger certainly try to achieve best practice and there are stringent measures to ensure that the emissions are within EU legislation. But the fact is that the plume is not just steam. It contains many particulates which you would not want to breathe. It may be legal, but it is not ‘only steam’.

    For some time we have needed an MP who will seek to understand properly the nature of the difficulties for which Egger are responsible and to act in the interest of her/his electors. Our current MP has taken advantage, it is alleged, of too many golf days and hotel stays provided by the Timber Industries Association to maintain a balanced view.

  2. stevenford Says:

    Here is the reply I have offered to Eggerwatch:

    Dear Admin@eggerwatch

    Thanks for your response which I have read with interest and, if I’ve got the technology right, you will now find on the blog.

    Factories and large buildings can be made more or less invisible, I kid you not. For an old style camouflage job have a look at images of the wartime camouflage applied to the Lockheed factory in America. Google “Lockheed factory camouflage”. (I tried and failed to incorporate photographs on this blog)

    For a more modern approach, that in my opinion would suit most modern industrial structures, including Egger, have a look at:

    http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.greenroofstoday.co.uk/cms/Image/greenwall.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.greenroofstoday.co.uk/%3Fpage%3Darticle%26type%3Dnews%26id%3D16&usg=__bxJVLBDQsyGUaSE4EMNaVUxOjZw=&h=300&w=400&sz=76&hl=en&start=21&tbnid=8xHFE2oMbqszpM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgreen%2Bwall%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official%26sa%3DG

    Egger should have been required to do something along these lines from the start – less visible structure, less reflected light at night, less noise – so many benefits. Retrofitting of this sort of covering remains possible.

    In 1989, for a few months, my family and I lived at Oakwood and so we were very familiar with the formaldehyde smell from the old plant. I’m afraid I was unable to locate the item on the analysis of the plume that you mentioned – can you give me the direct URL please – Thank you.

    As regards the Egger gravy train – I don’t play golf and when I am Hexham’s MP all my interactions with lobbyist groups will be documented publically.

    Please keep the comments coming. Interaction between candidates with individuals and groups of electors is the essence of democratic process. If it would help I would be delighted to come and meet Eggerwatch at a time and place convenient to you.

    Thanks again for the contact.

    Best wishes

    Steve Ford

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