Scots farmers protest about waste incinerator

Scottish farmers took to he roads in 27 tractors on Tuesday (20 July) to protest against a proposed waste incinerator on a Lanarkshire farm.

The Dovesdale Action Group wanted to highlight its concerns about the impact of the proposed development at Dovesdale Farm on between Blackwood and Canderside, in South Lanarkshire.

Dumfries firm Scotgen wants to develop a plant which would transform waste into energy for electricity. The firm said it would create 50 jobs through the plan, which had been lodged with the local authority.

But the protest group feared “toxic” waste and congestion on roads near junction eight of the M74.

Group leader Paul McGillivray said: “The numbers alone show just how opposed the local farming community is to this proposed toxic waste incinerator.

“The farmers are in the front line of this battle against Scotgen and the South Lanarkshire planners because they will see, before anyone else, the consequences of any fall-out or contamination from this plant.

“They have weighed up the possible dangers associated with this kind of waste disposal process and have appreciated in an instant that there are no guarantees of safety associated with this proposal, nor have any been given by Scotgen.

“The farmers have given a lead which many more in South Lanarkshire and beyond will follow. This is just the first demonstration of many we have planned.”

Mr McGillivray said traffic did back up as a result of the convoy. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused and there were a few who were upset at being held up. But the vast majority of car and lorry drivers were supportive of our actions, because many of them realise that ultimately this development would have a serious effect on them and this area.”

But Scotgen said the objectors were misrepresenting the proposal. A spokesman said some hazardous materials would be handled, but added: “These materials will certainly not be extensive in number or amount and will include materials such as oily rags, empty used containers and contaminated packaging.

“These are perhaps some of the very types of waste generated by the waste producers on this protest.”

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