Ker-ching! Viridor makes billions from burning recyclables

Ker-ching poster

A parody poster based on Croydon Council’s latest recycling campaign had to be withdrawn and re-drafted over fears of legal action.

The Stop The Incinerator Campaign’s Dave Pettener, a wag as well as a dab-hand with PhotoShop, had taken Croydon’s latest “Ker-ching” campaign and turned the message on its head to illustrate the costs of going ahead with the £1 billion contract with Viridor to build and operate a waste incinerator at Beddington Lane.

Labour in Croydon has always opposed the incinerator development. Croydon is one of four boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership which have jointly agreed the deal to build the incinerator in Sutton. But since winning control of Croydon Council in the local elections in May, Labour has gone very quiet on this issue, which is due to go before a High Court judge in a Judicial Review in the autumn.

The council Ker-ching posters proclaimed how much money is being saved by recycling. The Stop The Incinerator Campaign maintain that by paying to burn waste, there will be less incentive for the council to recycle the borough’s rubbish.

“The issue I have with the council’s poster is a simple one,” Pettener said, “the rubbish will not be properly sorted before it goes in to the incinerator, therefore, rubbish that could be recycled, re-used or treated in less harmful ways will get burned.

“And so I came up with a response that played on the wording of their posters. However, I was advised by our legal team that the poster I had made might be ‘problematic’ and I withdrew it,” said the campaigner.

“Originally I had put that Viridor would be making £5 billion profit from burning our rubbish. This is not correct.

“If Viridor’s incinerators in Cardiff, Runcorn and Sutton all go ahead they will have contracts worth nearly £6 billion from burning rubbish that could otherwise be treated in less harmful ways.”

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4 Responses to Ker-ching! Viridor makes billions from burning recyclables

  1. Just wanted to point out the Ker-ching advert is not Croydon Councils advert , it is from the South London Waste Partnership and is being used across all the Boroughs in the Partnership.
    Our Campaign is called Don’t Mess with Croydon, Take Pride and your readers will see this become a theme throughout our Labour Administration.
    The previous Conservative Administration signed a contract regarding the incinerator which as you correctly say Croydon Labour Party oppose. The new Administration are seeking legal advice regarding making that contract available publicly. When and if we can we will.
    My personal respect to both Shasha and Dave.

    regards Stuart Collins

    • If Croydon Council disagrees, disputes or dislikes an advertisement, then surely it can exercise its own judgement and refuse to carry it on the dust carts operated by its contractors within the borough.

      Or it can allow the advertisement to promote the waste burners across Croydon, which is what the council has done.

      Likewise, any body which is party to a contract is at liberty to disclose the details of that contract in any manner it wishes – except as specifically determined within that contract. So hiding behind “legal advice” is just a little feeble.

      But revealing the details of the incinerator contract is a million miles removed from Labour’s previous outright opposition to the development and use of the incinerator. When did Labour policy opposing the incinerator change to tacit support of it? On the day after you were elected?

  2. Even the most tedious, small contracts these days includes a standard clause that forbids either side from disclosing the contents of said contract, except where there is a preceding legal requirement.

    So, unless the incinerator is considered a national security target, and the council has a pre-existing FOI legal requirement, you should be able to get it, although you might have to use the services of m’learned friends to get it…

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