On Tuesday I along with other members of Extinction Rebellion joined locals in Sinfin, Derby in their long running protest against the harmful waste incinerator next to their homes.

Waste incinerators are horrendous for both the health of environment and those who live in the area surrounding them. Incinerators create more CO2 emissions than coal, natural gas, or oil-fired power plants and is not an effective way of producing energy. Both recycling and composting save far more energy than waste incinerators can produce both of which are options as most of the materials that enter incinerators could be recycled or composted. As we know CO2 is responsible for much of the warming of the Earth that threatens our very existence and despicably this was known before the plant was built.

For the local community it i not only the existential threat of climate change that concerns them. Their daily lives are impacted by the plants operations whose odour prevent people from spending time outside or even opening their windows. While the obnoxiously loud noise prevents people from sleeping impacting both adults ability to work and children’s ability to garner an education. Many studies have shown the link between sleep and health and the councils and corporation have ignored this and climate change science throughout the project.

Locals in Sinfin have been fighting against this plant for over a decade long before the plant was built and operational but they have been ignored and betrayed at every turn. Last year Derby City Council and Derbyshire Council both of whom are responsible for the creation of this dangerous plant had an opportunity to terminate the contract with Resource Recovery Solutions Ltd after they failed to hit targets within the contract. Instead both councils chose to ignore 12 years of residents complaining, campaigning, and protesting in favour of the corporation who has failed at every turn.

There were over 60 people at the protest on Tuesday and we received a lot of support from people driving past who beeped, waved, and gave us the thumbs up throughout the hour we were there. Hopefully the support of the wider community though Derby’s Extinction Rebellion group will encourage those locally to get involved again after a decade of fighting alone I hope the knowledge that that is no longer the case will renew efforts in the community.

It was great to see the mike being given to locals and councillors who have been fighting since the beginning and hearing the reality of exhaustion, discomfort, isolation, and health concerns from both children and adults who have been subjected to this political decision was inspiring. They refuse to give up despite overwhelming odds and I for one will join them in that fight every step of the way. Local issues especially those relating to climate change are never just that the air we all breathe is being effected by ludicrous decisions