10 November 2006

A Super-Incinerator For Coventry?

The Telegraph reported on the 8th of November about secret negotiations for a "super-incinerator" to service waste from Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.

Follow the logic: the Whitley "waste to energy" plant will reach the end of its "useful life" in 10 to 15 years, so they want to make a decision now on its replacement. They're assuming that they'll do so little to encourage recycling, that 10-15 years from now, we still won't be recycling enough, and we'll still need an incinerator.

It's such a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Part of the justification for the incinerator is that it generates electricity for Coventry homes. Well, we should be working towards having a greater and greater percentage of homes in the city powered by "green" energy from renewable sources, not burning plastic.

Keith Kondrakor, a Green Party member in Nuneaton, has done a great deal of research and lobbying, and generally being a busy bee, on the issue of incineration in the county.

Friends of the Earth thinks they're taking the wrong approach and should be looking to recycle more than two-thirds of rubbish.
Senior waste and resources campaigner Michael Warhurst said: "In Flanders in Belgium they're already recycling 71 per cent of waste, which is a demonstration of what you can do."

He said a better way was to recycle out all glass, plastics, metals, paper, then use a special process to treat biological waste, including food, so it doesn't emit the green house gas methane.

Then the resulting residue could safely go to landfill.


P. Schmidt-Pathmann said...

Germany has achieved a recycling rate of over 65%. A law went into effect on June 1st 2005 that has been 20 years in the making: no more untreated waste in landfills as it reacts and turns out emissions that pollute the air and leachate that pollutes the soil. This law was originated and fostered by the German Green Party. Germany as a country has reached the highest recycling rate for a country worldwide at over 65%. Germany also has studied waste very closely for the past 20 and there is still room for improvements in recycling and waste avoidance. It also gets very complicated as some recyclables take more energy to recycle than is yielded when recycled thus making recycling inadequate. Other recyclables require large amounts of toxic chemicals to recycle and again defies the purpose of recycling. The German Green Party fully supports Thermal Recycling - the most advanced form of waste incineration as it is a renewable source of energy as well as it allows for zero waste being landfilled. Please log onto www.wrsi.info for more information.
Waste incineration plays a viable part in a sustainable society.
We need to keep an open mind and learn the difference between reality and fiction.
All the best P. Schmidt-Pathmann

Joe said...

Hi guys,

I had a very interesting conversation with Keith on Friday.

I think we are very unlikely to change the council's behaviour by force of moral argument alone, given that the incinerator is already running at less than optimum economic capacity.

So, I think we should arrange our own recycling collection. If the council is not prepared to put any effort into recycling, then maybe it is time we did - I've got a bit of experience in jumping through Environment Agency regulations and think that we can definitely do it.

And as a little response to the last comment, the issue with our council (cov city) is that it doesn't want to do any recycling as it needs to stoke its incinerator. I'd be in favour of incinerating things you can't recycle in preference to landfill, but at the moment they are refusing to recycle - because they can't be bothered, not because they are not able. We're a long way behind you Germans, I'm afraid.



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