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Republic of Ireland National Waste Report Suggests Possible Future Failure to Achieve EU Waste Diversion Target

The Environmental Protection Agency for the Republic of Ireland has issued a national waste report from 2006. The report highlights the potential for Ireland to fail in achieving their landfill diversion requirements.

Municipal waste actually grew by 11 percent from the previous year, while on the good side MSW recycling levels rose to 36 percent, it was not so good that the amount of waste sent to landfill also grew by 8 percent.

Landfilled waste must be reduced substantially for compliance with targets, and for any EU nation to be increasing landfill inputs at this time must be considered to be very disappointing.

The report also provides data on a range of other waste streams. More ...

UK Anaerobic Digestion Plants are to Get ROCs Subsidy Boost (22 January 2008)

BERR has published their report on ROC award changes and the UK government's Response will be included in the Energy Bill

BERR have released the government's response to the Renewables Obligation Consultation, and the proposal is to give Anaerobic Digestion the boost it was hoping for at 2.0 ROCs/MWh.

Their document summarises the responses and sets out the Government's intentions in the light of them. The government is seeking through the Energy Bill to secure the necessary primary legislative powers to make the proposed changes. The detail will be implemented through a new Renewables Obligation Order (ROCS).

The BERR pdf version of the report can be downloaded in full here.

Anaerobic digestion has been placed in what is described as the "emerging" brand, and other technologies are included. Here is an excerpt from BERR's text:-

"Wave; tidal stream; fuels created using an advanced conversion technologies (anaerobic digestion; gasification and pyrolysis); dedicated biomass burning energy crops (with or without CHP); dedicated regular biomass with CHP; solar photovoltaic; geothermal, tidal impoundment (e.g. tidal lagoons and tidal barrages (<1GW)); Microgeneration.",  all get 2.0 ROCs/MWh, starting 1 April 2009.

Sewage gas was seen as an area for substantial increases in Anaerobic Digestion generation capacity, and existing and new anaerobic digesters, future expansion was suggested to be possible up to 0.8 TWh by 2010 by fitting new digesters to sewage treatment works which were not equipped with these at present.

It is all good news for AD, but still not, I understand, up to the level of security of price for sale of the electricity given by the German government. Your comments are welcomed below! Also comment at the
Anaerobic Digestion Forum.

Objections to Herefordshire Autoclave Plant Thrown Out (22 November 2007)

A long-running legal battle over plans to build an autoclave plant in Madley, Herefordshire, has finally paved the way for the facility to be built.

However, protestors still plan to appeal the court decision made 10 days ago, which denied them the opportunity to apply for a judicial review and challenge the planning approval which Herefordshire council granted to the facility.

The plant is being proposed by West Midlands-based Estech Europe for a site at Stoney Street Industrial Estate in Madley, to treat up to 100,000 tonnes of municipal residual waste a year, using autoclave steam technology. It first received planning permission from Herefordshire council in 2004.

But local pressure group the Herefordshire Waste Watchers started legal proceedings to judicially review and quash the decision. This action saw the High Court temporarily ruling that the facility could not go ahead as planned in 2005, on grounds of insufficient information on the plant's environmental impact.

Although revised environmental information was submitted, Herefordshire Waste Watchers lodged a formal judicial review claim in February 2007.

Permission to apply for a judicial review was refused by the High Court in May and now an application for further review of that decision was thrown out by a judge at London's Royal Courts of Justice last Friday (November 9 2007).

According to the council, presiding judge Mr Justice Simon ruled that there was "no factual or other basis for concluding that the council had acted improperly", and awarded costs to the council.
More at LetsRecycle here.

Energy Recovery Plans for Rufford Colliery Site

(10 July 2006)

Veolia Environmental Services today announced that Rufford Colliery, near Rainworth, is the proposed site for a new Energy Recovery Facility to be built. The Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), which will provide energy from the incineration of waste, is one of the solutions proposed to manage the county's waste as part of the integrated waste management contract.

In line with Government legislation, Nottinghamshire needs a proven and deliverable solution to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill. Following the waste hierarchy, Veolia Environmental Services, which has recently been awarded the contract for the County's 26 year waste management contract will encourage waste reduction, assist the County Council to increase recycling and composting to 52%, provide Energy Recovery through incineration and reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. 
More ...

EU Committee of Regions Report into Landfill Directive(6 June 2006

The EU Committee of the Regions has produced an outlook report on the implementation of the Landfill Directive at regional and local levels. The report highlights the significant efforts that have been made in implementation, the decrease in biodegradable waste going to landfill across the EU and the continued importance landfill will play in the management of non-recyclable and non-combustible wastes. More ...

Health effects of waste to energy put into context
(2 March 2006)

Household waste doesn't often make the news – unless it's a waste incinerator.  January's leaked Government report on the future of waste management in the UK was headline news on the BBC – but only because it foresaw an increase in waste incineration (known as energy from waste).  People are understandably worried about the health risks of energy from waste facilities. Enviros has been working with the Waste Recycling Group Ltd to ensure that the company understands and can communicate the health effects of energy from waste facilities. 

Mark Broomfield and Gary Wilson of Enviros have prepared a briefing paper which sets the health effects of waste to energy in context.  The paper was audited by the National Society for Clean Air and Environmental Protection  ( ).  WRG will use this paper to inform the debate about energy from waste in areas where the company is active.  This builds on a previous briefing paper which discussed health issues associated with landfill sites.  See Health effects of waste to energy to download an Acrobat .pdf file.

Mike Snell, WRG's Director of Communications described the briefing paper as "an excellent piece of work."  Mark Broomfield added that the challenge of presenting complex scientific and technical information in an accessible way was a difficult and rewarding one.  "I hope that people will find this paper fair and balanced, and short enough to be read over a cup of tea!"

EfW leak becomes lead item the UK National News
(18 January 2006)

National news bulletins this week led on a leaked from the Waste Strategy 2006 document . According to the leaked report, the proportion of waste being incinerated will be targeted to rise from 9% to 25% in the next 15 years. CIWM Chief Executive Steve Lee appeared on both radio and TV, stressing the importance of energy from waste as part of a sustainable waste policy, when dealing with residual waste. He also spoke more generally about the challenge involved in increasing public understanding of and commitment to responsible behaviour in relation to waste.
BBC News Item and the BBC video here...

UK DTI Announces CHP to benefit from ROCs
(17 January 2006)

In a much needed boost to Combined Heat & Power (CHP) the DTI has announced its decision on the final changes to the Renewables Obligation Order 2006, and one of the key areas addressed has been the inclusion of CHP. CHP, under the provisions, will be accredited for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). More...

Waste Management and Climate Change (7 January 2006)

The Institution of Civil Engineers has produced a report entitled 'The case for a resource management strategy'. The report argues that using the right treatment method for waste has the potential to help prevent 17 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions each year. More ...

Recycling Increases in Wales (20 December 2005)

Figures released by the Welsh Assembly Government have shown recycling rates in Wales have achieved 19.4%. The Welsh Assembly has set targets for Local Authorities to achieve a national recycling rate of 40% by 2010. More ...

Shrewsbury's new waste management facility scoops national award (2 December 2005)

Shropshire County Council's new waste management facility at Battlefield in Shrewsbury has won a prestigious national Award for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management.

It was named the winner in the category of 'innovation in design of a waste management facility' at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London (on Wednesday 19 October), where Councillor John Hurst-Knight, Shropshire County Council's cabinet member for waste and economy was presented with the award by ITV newsreader Mary Nightingale.Harlescott-recycling-palnt02 

He said: "I was delighted to receive this award on behalf of all involved in the planning, designing, building and running of this impressive facility".

The award is recognition of the hard work being carried out by Shropshire County Council to make it easier for people in Shrewsbury and across Shropshire to recycle more.

"The Battlefield facility has raised the standard of public-accessible waste management sites and shows that waste sites really can be well designed, clean, attractive, welcoming and successful ."
The 4m Battlefield facility opened in February 2005 and comprises a Household Recycling Centre, waste transfer station, materials bulking facility, an office building and an area for receiving streetcleansing waste. The facility can handle up to 100,000 tonnes of waste per year. All waste brought to the site is stored, then bulked-up and transported to final treatment or disposal.

A number of environmentally-friendly measures were incorporated into the design of the Battlefield facility to minimise its effect on the environment and its surroundings including:Harlescott-recycling-plant-inside02

  1. Energy-efficient lighting in the main building which will save 60 tonnes of CO2 per year and is complemented by south-facing roof lights to maximise use of daylight.
  2. Geothermal heating in the main office, incorporating over 300m of buried pipe, will save seven tonnes of CO2 per year.
  3. 870 tonnes of recycled aggregate was used for the road foundations.
  4. Rainwater is harvested and used for toilet flushing and washdown facilities, resulting in a further CO2 saving.

The exterior was designed to present an attractive view from the neighbouring enterprise park, Battlefield village and Battle of Shrewsbury heritage site. The landscaping was designed to enhance ecology along the Battlefield Brook watercourse and to link with surrounding developments.

The Battlefield facility was designed to help increase the proportion of waste being recycled and composted in Shropshire, and reduce the amount going to landfill.

The principal design and project management work on the Battlefield waste management facility was carried out by Shrewsbury-based Enviros Consulting. The main design and build contractor was Dean & Dyball.

Run by , the Awards for Excellence in recycling and waste management aim to recognise innovation, dedication and success in recycling and sustainable waste management.

For more information from Shropshire County Council, contact Gareth Proffitt, Communications Officer on (01743) 252828.

Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill passes second reading (1 December 2005)

The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill, a private members bill with cross party support, has passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

As drafted the bill will require the Prime Minister to report annually on progress in meeting climate change targets and microgeneration to be supported by a range of measures including simple grid connections green energy certificates, mandatory terms for power exports, and financial and regulatory regimes. The Bill would also allow Government to set up a renewable heat obligation scheme similar to the Renewables Obligation (RO) already operating in the electricity sector.

While the Bill has cross-party support, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks is seeking significant amendments arguing that a "fiscal strategy for microgeneration was unnecessary, targets were premature and that price guarantees would distort the electricity market." The Government is however also seeking to add two measures to the Bill, to support renewable energy on the Scottish Islands and the other to simplify the way the RO operates to support microgeneration.

Click here to read a copy of The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill.

here to read the DTI press release.

Waste strategy will abandon recycling and promote incineration says EEB (25 October 2005)

The EEB, Europe's largest federation of environmental citizens' organisations, has raised concerns that the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Waste Prevention and Recycling will abandon recycling and increase incineration.

The Commission launched an inter-Commission-service consultation last week ahead of finalising the strategy by the end of November.

However, the EEB has claimed that, as it stands, the Strategy would propose an approach that leads to clear deregulation and loss of environmental ambition for EU waste management, in particular the key objective of moving towards resource efficiency and a recycling society. More ..

UK Government "D" Graded this year for Waste Infrastructure performance by ICE in State of the Nation Report 2005 (23 October 2005)

The Institution of Civil Engineers has released their annual state of the nation report. The report provides an assessment of the UK infrastructure. Waste infrastructure received a grade D, with no planning approval given for major facilities and a lack of political commitment to encourage the 10 billion pound investment required in new facilities to meet landfill diversion targets.

We quote the report "Waste: The past 12 months have continued to show the denial and disconnected thinking with which the Government, businesses and the public approach the subject of waste. In this country, waste is seen as an end – a dead end – rather than a means. That view has to change.

The Waste Industry is ready to tackle the challenge, but cannot act alone.  More here.

Reform PFI, ICE tells Labour - & Waste Management is of particular Concern (13 October 2005)

PRIVATE FINANCE deals must be reformed if the initiative is to deliver its potential, the ICE told delegates at the Labour Party conference last week. ICE vice president Gordon Masterton reeled off a string of flaws with the current system that need addressing, and singled out waste management as a particular concern.

"The first problem is the prescriptive nature of Treasury guidelines for standardised PFI contracts, so contract negotiations become extended."

"The second is the lack of direction from central government on the most appropriate technology. There also needs to be more help with planning," said Masterton.

Masterton said without greater evaluation at an early stage of the appropriateness of schemes, deals would continue to collapse. According to private finance promotion outfit 4ps, the number of authorities now engaged at different stages of waste PFI is in excess of 260, and nine projects have been successfully procured. But the last one of these was in Leicester in 2003.

Masterton was addressing a mixed audience of around 40 local politicians and Labour party supporters at a fringe reception hosted by the ICE and the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Guest speaker was health minister Lord Warner, who said that the PFI was "a once in a lifetime opportunity to regenerate the hospital estate".

RIBA president Jack Pringle also called for reforms to the system, arguing that upfront design should taken out of the deal.

"We    know    good    design pays," said Pringle. "The problem with the classic mechanism is that it is not conducive to good design.

"At present designs and designers are buried deep in the consortia and are hard to relate to."

"The client should have a design team to work on the 'what', leaving the consortium to tackle the 'how'," said Pringle. (Source New Civil Engineer)

Incentives for Householders to Recycle More
(11 October 2005)

DEFRA has offered funding to 51 schemes across England to pilot, test and assess various approaches to incentivise people to recycle and reduce waste. Methods used include offering personal rewards for regular recycling - including cash awards, prizes and discount vouchers for shopping and local leisure facilities, as well as more novel ideas such as recycling lotteries, league tables, text messages, scratch cards. See: DEFRA News.

UK Waste strategy in disarray says US expert
(1 October 2005)

According to a News item in the New Civil Engineer (a weekly magazine circulated to all members of the Institution of Civil Engineers) privately financed disposal projects in Britain are hamstrung by local government's inconsistent approach, a senior United States consultant warned this week.

"If the nation is serious about changing the manner of solid waste disposal it needs to get a consistent approach," said Earth Tech president Alan Krusi. "The market is still sorting itself out. It is trying to encourage innovation through private operators but what works against it is fragmented local procurement on a plant by plant basis.

"Local authorities are grappling with the issue independently, each using a different approach to procurement and using different consultants.

The ICE said it had brought government and local authority private finance task force 4Ps together to  develop  guidance notes. Local authorities need the guidance because they lack the expertise to tackle large private finance deals alone, said ICE waste board vice chairman Nigel Mattravers.

"Most counties have got very small waste teams - six or seven people. These people are being asked to put together deals worth 700M (GBP) to 800M (GBP) over 20 years.

"That is hugely difficult for guys who are not much more than waste recycling officers who used to be binmen.

"It is all very fragmented with more than 120 authorities responsible for waste around the country, so it is very difficult for these small organisations to take on this brave new world," he said. (By Mark Hansford.)

Welsh Councils are Diverting More Waste from Landfill (23 September 2005)

The Environment Agency in Wales has confirmed that all 22 local authorities in Wales  have reduced the amount of waste they send to landfill and have all met their European targets for 2004-2005: Read more here.

Enviros Voted Top Waste Management Consultant (20 August 2005)

The entrants to the 2005 Consultants' Survey in Environment Business Magazine have placed Enviros in top slot for our 'waste management' expertise. We quote:

…..'as an aggregate of both customers and consultants, Enviros gets a far more consistent vote as top consultancy in this field.'

The 2005 and Environment Business Environmental Consultancy Survey has now been completed with another overwhelming response from 1557 individuals, 1194 (77%) of whom are edie users and 954 (61%) are readers of Environment Business.

Unlike other surveys, this survey examines the views, opinions and expertise of both the consultancy providers themselves and the end users of those consultancies. We feel that this adds value as it shows what customers think about the consultancy providers and the state of the market, rather than an "official" line from one side or the other.  Read more at Consultancy Survey 2005: Who is top of the boffins?

Major new WRG recycling facilities take their bow (28 July 2005)

Two key recycling facilities – both managed by Waste Recycling Group – were formally opened on Friday 22 July.

The first is the development, expansion and refurbishment of a materials recycling facility and waste transfer station at Kingsway, Luton, and the second is a state-of-the-art household waste recycling centre at Burma Drive, Hull. Each facility represents a total investment of more than 1 million.

Jim Meredith, Chief Executive of Waste Recycling Group, commented: "These facilities reflect the commitment that Hull and Luton have to providing modern, efficient and user-friendly recycling centres. More ...

Royal treatment for Europe's most advanced Materials Recovery Facility (23 July 2005)

A new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Alton in Hampshire, operated by Onyx, was officially opened on Wednesday 6th July by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

The Duke of Gloucester was able to see first hand how the facility is operated. He was taken through the facility to see various stages of operation, including the sophisticated optical sorting system. He had an opportunity to meet the operations staff who run the facility on a daily basis.

"We are delighted that HRH The Duke of Gloucester so kindly agreed to open the Alton MRF in Hampshire, the most advanced of its kind in Europe" said Cyrille du Peloux, chief executive of Onyx. "This is a true milestone in an infrastructure project that will maintain the county at the forefront of integrated waste management."

This new 15 million MRF is situated on the A31 near Alton and is the second facility of its kind to be built in Hampshire by Onyx.

The MRF has been equipped with the latest technology. The sophisticated optical sorting system has the capability to separate materials automatically. In addition the facility operates with two Trommels. These enormous interior drums act as the front line filter separating plastic bottles and cans from paper and are one of the most efficient methods for separating paper from other dry recyclables. More...

Councils may be Fined 14M a year for Exceeding EU Landfill Waste Reduction Targets (20 May 2004)

This was the prediction made by one local authority's waste services manager recently. The targets that have been set in compliance with the European Landfill Directive require that the UK achieves a 75% reduction in the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) going to landfill by 2010, compared with 1995 levels.

Failure to comply will result in fines levied by the EU at a rate of 150 per tonne of household waste landfilled above the target. Bedfordshire County Council is reportedly one of a number of UK local authorities which will be unable to comply because planned waste treatment facilities are not ready yet, and will not be in time. Bedfordshire are due to procure a 450 million privately financed waste management contract, under which new treatment facilities will be built, but the earliest these can be commissioned is 2009.

However, time-scales often do slip in bringing in such large contracts, and it now cannot be guaranteed that the planned treatment plants will be ready by 2010. Even before that date, however, as the target ramps up, Bedfordshire believe that they will be fined. A particular problem arises for Bedfordshire which makes the problem more acute, as it is claimed that local population increases due to planning policy, have not been reflected in increased waste disposal allowances.


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