100% recycling of our waste is impossible, or is it? Recently the farmers campaign became aware of a British recycling technology which can take residual waste previously ‘nonrecyclable’ and process it into useful products to create jobs and make money from waste. Those arguing for incineration have said “what else can you do with ‘nonrecyclable’ waste such as plastic meat trays contaminated with organic material, nappies, tooth brushes and polystyrene?” The answer is first put the waste through a ‘Materials Recycling Facility’(MRF) and extract high value recyclables. The residual waste left over can then be fed into a “Saltus” process offered by ‘Cardinal Mark Ltd’. A visit to the company’s operation near Chester provided an insight into the waste industry’s future.
A practical demonstration transformed a mixture of waste into a material that has a guaranteed value and wide range of uses. The new material is feed into an extrusion process capable of producing a diverse range of products. Sample products included pallets, fence posts, boards and structural beams, they appear capable of outperforming traditional materials. The process sounded too good to be true which is why a visit to the company was necessary. After signing their ‘Non Disclosure Agreement’ the company answered a series of questions. Any company still offering incineration should take note and recognise their business model is outdated, communities do not want incinerators and improved recycling makes them obsolete.
West Norfolk Borough Council's recycling alternative moves a step nearer.
• Independent report confirms soundness of alternative
Total Recycling 2
An advanced form of Autoclaving (steam treatment) reduces residual waste initially to a sludge then adds a catalyst in the process to produce a consistent quality and valuable fibre for re-manufacturing. Plastics and other materials are recovered separately for recycling as part of the process. This system allows waste including old carpets, nappies, leather, plastic bags and other materials previously considered non-recyclable to be effectively recycled. For more information Visit: EVRS
Mechanical & Biological Treatment MBT
MBT is already established in other counties including Cambridgeshire. The term describes a range of technologies that either compost or digest biodegradable waste and recovers a high proportion of material for recycling through using advanced mechanical sorting/processing. The MBT process significantly reduces the waste and produces compost like output that can be used for land reclamation. If the compost like output is not used it can be economically sent to landfill without incurring the financial penalties or pollution problems associated with disposal of untreated waste. With MBT incineration is not necessary and the required diversion from landfill can be achieved.
MBT technology - Donarbon
Lancashire rejected incineration
“Their waste solution produces energy, diverts waste away from landfill and is combined with proactive waste reduction”. Use this link to find out more http://www.globalrenewables.eu/ur3r-process
New Earth Solutions
‘New Earth Solutions’ provide Mechanical and Biological Treatment of residual waste. It has significant advantages over Energy from Waste Incineration. Instead of vaporising valuable Aluminium, lead and other metals, these along with plastics are recovered.
It is more flexible and has a lower carbon foot print than an electricity producing incinerator, the price tag is also less. A facility to deal with 200,000 tonnes per year would cost around £25 million. New Earth have five plants operating including those at Bristol and Bournemouth with a sixth in progress.
New Earth Solutions
A more efficient approach
Instead of putting all mixed waste through an MBT plant, food can be collected separately from other waste, this can and is being done in many parts of the UK. Norwich City Council recently started doing this. The food waste can be fed to an anaerobic digester converting a high proportion of it to methane gas used for generating electricity. The compost like output after digestion is a useful agricultural product and can be spread on farmland. Anaerobic Digestion is a proven and effective technology. When other waste is not contaminated by food a greater proportion of it can easily be recycled. There is very little of our waste, which cannot effectively be recycled, even plastics. Norfolk County Council lags behind other areas, we are not recycling materials that others can.
Biomass Energy Centre
Thermal Treatment of our waste.
If the thermal treatment of our waste could really be justified it should only be used after we have already reduced the waste through the cleaner technologies such as MBT and AD. The type of incineration favoured by Norfolk County Council would still not be justified because cleaner, more efficient Plasma Gasification is now available. Incineration is the technology of the past.
Plasma Gasification (not to be confused with low temperature gasification)
This technology has now proven itself and is replacing traditional incineration (as currently favoured by NCC). Plasma uses a high temperature electric arc to super heat waste breaking it down into fuel gas for generating electricity and a solid glass like slag which is inert and can be used to produce rock wool insulation material. After taking into account the electricity needed to sustain the plasma plant it still produces more electricity than a traditional incineration. A study from Cassino University’s Department of Industrial Engineering showed, “integrated plasma gasification combined cycle (IPGCC) has been evaluated. The system efficiency (31% LHV) is very high in comparison with the efficiency of conventional technologies based on waste incineration (20%)”. NCC officers responsible for our waste claimed Plasma is unproven and only works on a small scale. Plasma has operated in the UK for over 30 years, commercial scale plants are already established and many more are going through procurement. NCC officers said banks would not finance plasma, which is very misleading because some companies offering Plasma are prepared to finance the project themselves, only charging a tipping fee which is cheaper than proposed for their incinerator.
UK 300,000 tonne plasma gasification plant
The Plasco Energy Group
A Thames Gateway Article
New technology converts residual waste into substitute Petrol.
Companies are now building commercial scale plants, visit Reclaim Resources Ltd’s website for more information here: www.reclaimresources.com.
There can be no justification for Norfolk County Council getting locked in to a 25 year contract for an incinerator which will stifle recycling and prevent more efficient technology being used.
Mixed contaminated plastic can economically be recycled into valuable raw material for manufacturing, markets already exist for these materials. View the report using the link http://www.wrap.org.uk/document.rm?id=11123
There will be further updates coming soon.
In the 1990s Americans discovered EfW incinerators were expensive and inefficient, now European countries like Germany are discovering the same. When EfW incinerators reach the end of their contracts... the German authorities do not intend to build any more. View a youtube presentation by Mike Biddle showing a more modern approach to waste, there is not much that cannot be recycled.
Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic!
Click on image below, to view video
Visit his site
T.E.D: Ideas Worth Spreading.