Will new energy plant burn human body parts?

Artists impression of new energy recycling centre

Artists impression of new energy recycling centre

Concerns have been raised that a new ‘waste to energy’ recovery plant proposed for Chickenhall Lane could be burning human body parts – and even human foetuses.

The operators Clean Power already has already been granted planning permission by Hampshire County Council to build the plant in Eastleigh despite objections from Eastleigh Local Area Committee and the borough council’s environmental health department.

The government are promoting this kind of  waste recycling as a greener alternative to landfill disposal of rubbish and as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly means of energy production then fracking – the pyrolytic combustion process produces considerably fewer emissions than traditional furnace incinerators.

Clean Power have now applied for a permit from the Environment Agency to incinerate waste by pyrolysis, but there appears to be discrepencies between the list of potential waste sources applied for and the list supplied to Eastleigh News by Clean Power.

The submitted application lists types of waste that they wish to process and includes in the list human body parts and organs and wastes from ‘natal care’ – along with wastes from the “diagnoses, treatment and prevention of disease” in both humans and animals.

human waste

Eastleigh News has asked  Clean Power and the Environment Agency for a definition of ‘natal care waste’, specifically if this would include placenta and aborted or miscarried human foetuses.

In March this year, a Channel 4 Despatches programme revealed that a ‘waste to energy ‘ plant operated by a private contractor based at Ipswich Hospital burnt human foetuses (from another hospital) alongside other clinical waste to produce energy.

This shock report prompted the NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh to write to all NHS Trusts ordering then to stop the practice however it is not illegal (unless the foetus was over 24 weeks old) and it is a widespread practice elsewhere in the world.

In April there was a storm of controversy when it was alleged that a waste to energy plant in Oregon was burning ‘waste’ foetuses imported from Canada.

The company denied this and said they were only burning placenta and umbilical cords but this in turn was contradicted by the British Columbia Minsitry of health who said waste had included ‘foetal tissue’.

A spokesman for Clean Power initially told Eastleigh News that they would not be applying for wastes in these categories and sent us a draft copy of their permit application in which the categories that cover medical and clinical waste had been omitted but Eastleigh News has since obtained a copy of the submitted application form from Eastleigh Borough Council which clearly shows the application does include waste from natal care, human body parts and human organs.

Although the environment agency have not clarified the exact nature of ‘natal waste’  a spokesman told Eastleigh News:

 “We can confirm that we have received an application from the business, as the site is entitled to apply for these wastes in limited quantities.

We will assess the appropriateness of each waste type as part of the determination process. However we will be requiring further clarification of the exact wastes that the site wishes to accept.”

The Environment Agency has been holding a public consultation into the permit application which closed on June 30 although Eastleigh News understands they will still consider representations from residents.

You can comment on the application by emailing:


See also

Concerns over new waste plant 




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