Massive Incinerator to be built in Doncaster

November 27, 2008 at 2:50 pm

A giant waste incinerator is to be built in Doncaster. The scheme, which has seen three local councils join forces, aims to increase the provisions available for recycling centres whilst reducing pressure on local landfill sites.

The three councils, namely Doncaster, Barnsley, and Sheffield, have drawn up a shortlist of thirteen different sites that could potentially become the new home for the high-tech facility.

Sites at Kirk Sandall and Carcroft, an existing landfill site in Hatfield, and three quarries are among the locations that will meet the public vote in the middle of December. Robin Hood Airport, the abandoned power station at Thorpe Marsh, and Doncaster Lakeside Leisure Park have been recently removed from the list.

The Dearne Valley region is responsible for disposing of some 611,000 tonnes of waste every year, a third of which must be recycled or composted to achieve targets set by the European Union last month.

Incineration has long been regarded as a confounding variable in the fight against pollution – effectively replacing physical debris with toxic smoke and gases – but a series of unique technologies will allow the new facility to ‘clean’ unpleasant gases before they are ejected. Chemical and biological waste will also be processed at the site.

The incinerator is steadily increasing in popularity amongst UK councils. A £39.3m structure has also been approved in Barnstable, Devon, provided that it can generate usable energy from the waste it destroys.

Unfortunately, incinerators are ugly and smelly, and unless incineration becomes completely ‘clean’, developers are going to face prolonged resistance from NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) groups concerned about the heavy metals and dioxins produced as a by-product of the incineration process.

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High Wycombe introduces on-street recycling

November 18, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Shoppers pounding the streets of High Wycombe will be able to recycle in the town centre thanks to an innovative new trial of on-street recycling litter bins. A total of ten recycling banks will be placed in the town centre for three months, allowing shoppers to dispose of drinks cans, bottles and newspapers in an environmentally-friendly fashion. Red bins will take plastic and cans, whilst blue bins will welcome paper.

The scheme has not yet been officially approved but the prospect has excited locals and is likely to go ahead. The bins will cost approximately £500 and the money will come from an existing budget set aside for street cleaning.

The good news is that this proposal is not another example of the local council trying to make people feel guilty about recycling. Rather, the Wycombe District Council has revealed that local people are regularly expressing their desire to see recycling facilities introduced in the town centre. Sam Clements, the coordinator of Wycombe Friends of the Earth, has called the scheme “fantastic” and believes that any move which encourages waste management is a real step forward in the fight to spread the recycling word.

Clements continued to speculate about the importance of the on-street recycling bins. People are generally more than happy to recycle at home because it is convenient to do so. However, if you buy a can of drink whilst out shopping, it is unlikely that the can will make the journey home with you. It therefore makes sense for the council to introduce this scheme.

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Scarborough residents facing court action after refusing to recycle properly

November 12, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Many people in the UK believe that recycling is a bit of an inconvenience. It is all too easy to become lazy and chuck your newspaper and empty beer can in the normal waste bin. Whilst you may think that no harm will come from behaviour such as this, you could actually get into a lot of trouble. The local council in Scarborough has revealed that dozens of people in the local area are currently facing court action after ignoring basic recycling rules and regulations.

One of the most extreme cases described by the council involves a resident who placed his car engine in his blue household recycling bin whilst numerous other residents have tried to recycle needles. The council’s recycling development officer, Harry Briggs, believes that placing needles in recycling bins is dangerous and is a problem which needs to be tackled. Fines of up to £100 have been handed out to residents who have contaminated their bins by putting in the wrong kinds of rubbish. For individuals facing court action the maximum penalty is £1000.

Scarborough as a region has tried hard to improve its recycling reputation. A multi-million pound plant located at Seamer Carr has recently started to collect and sort the borough’s waste. It is now responsible for sending the waste to various places across the world to be properly recycled. Harry Briggs is happy that Scarborough is now recycling 35% of its waste but this figure needs to increase if the borough is to reach its target of 40% by 2010. The council is hopeful that a new focus upon recycling glass will help this goal become a reality.

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EU sets 50% recycling target

November 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm

The European Union (EU) has revealed its commitment to a deal which will force member states to recycle 50% of all household waste by 2020. The proposal is an umbrella scheme which encompasses the prevention of waste, energy recovery, and the adoption of sensible and achievable recycling projects that can operate within the local community.

Several councils have set themselves far more enthusiastic targets, with many hoping to achieve the new goals within the next five years. Rochdale council has pledged to cut annual waste in half by 2011 and aims to become the ‘green’ jewel in Manchester’s crown long before the target date set by the EU.

Cambridge council, on the other hand, has been left feeling slightly concerned by the proposed scheme. Many of the terraced housing estates around the city have poor access to recycling facilities and there is little additional space for recycling bins.

The new scheme, which is an amendment to the Waste Framework Directive, comes in the form of an instruction manual which outlines safe disposal methods for common household waste. Hazardous materials, such as oil and medical or radioactive garbage, are also taken into consideration.

Landfill sites are regarded as a last resort and, in general, they are rapidly falling out of favour with a large proportion of European councils.

Member states will be allowed to construct and maintain their own schemes but participation is compulsory for all EU countries. The European Council wants to see citizens make a conscious effort to recycle plastic, paper, metal, and a large proportion of construction debris before the EU, with its plethoric waste, becomes too filthy to clean.

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