Monday, 20 June 2011

Mail on Sunday: "The giant 'anaerobic digesters' that will convert our slop buckets to electricity"

Link to 'Mail on Sunday'

"Huge 'anaerobic digester' plants the size of two football pitches will be built across Britain, as a multi-million-pound industry develops to convert waste food scraps into usable electricity.

"Fuelled by the Government’s drive to introduce kitchen slop buckets in every home, the units can transform 120,000 tons of scraps into six megawatts of power, enough to power 6,000 homes, 24 hours a day."

Our comment:
It is welcome that domestic waste disposal issues have become 'mainstream', and this is progress from the Daily Mail's obsession with weekly bin collections (a battle it now knows it has lost).

The NLWA has stated at its recent exhibitions that kerb-side collection of kitchen waste would not go to Pinkham Way; the 'mechanical and biological treatment' (MBT) plant would only process black-bag waste. An organic waste stream would be one of its products, alongside incinerator-fuel, and some recycling.

For the organics, the NLWA would then choose between:

We believe that both AD and composting are perfectly valid means of domestic waste processing - and both are vastly better than land-fill.

The 'Mail on Sunday' article suggests that AD plants will/should be massive, but there are no real economies of scale, except for waste company profits. Smaller plants, for locally-produced waste, are preferable, with lower transport impacts as well.

This 'Pinkham Way Incinerator' website was told at the weekend that a couple of government ministers live in Muswell Hill. That should reduce the likelihood of Pinkham Wood ever being built! ... But Pinkham Wood should be more than just a successful nimby campaign, pushing the waste plant into an area with poorer and less influential people.

The NLWA, and London-wide politicians, need to urgently adopt new policies:
  • reduce black-bag waste by half by 2020 (as promoted by 'Friends of the Earth'), and
  • aim for 70% recycling by 2025 (as, for instance, agreed in Scotland).
Then, the welcome rundown of land-fill would no longer result in a 'Rush to Incineration' or the necessity for huge plants like Pinkham Way.

Link to 'Zero Waste Scotland'
Link to FoE waste campaign

1 comment:

  1. Will the residents be provided with the waste buckets big enough to contain Coleman's and Rams's (boy, what name!)carcasses?