Promoting energy from waste

The UK needs more strategies to recover energy from waste, is the message from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), and waste producers are being asked to help address the issue. An over-reliance on landfill has resulted in a poor take-up of Energy from Waste (EfW) technologies, but the impending landfill tax is beginning to stimulate interest.

CIWM’s chief executive, Steve Lee, has been looking beyond the group’s membership to help get the message across. CIWM has been forging relationships with waste producers since the body became a chartered institution. It has now produced a new report, Energy from Waste: A Good Practice Guide, to provide independent support for decision-makers at all levels
of government, industry and the community.

Finding a suitor

A lot of major industry has already installed onsite EfW facilities, reusing the recovered energy to fuel its plant. A spokesperson for CIWM told IEM: “We understand that industry faces a lot of planning issues, but companies producing waste 365 days a year may well suit some of the emerging technologies, more so than those dealing with household waste.”

Current EfW facilities rely on a mix of proven and robust approaches with new and emerging technologies, such as pyrolysis gasification which is already used to treat sewage sludge.

The CIWM guide aims to address the practical, operational and regulatory control aspects of energy from waste, as well as challenging some of the controversial issues associated with this option – such as the assumptions made regarding the compatibility of EfW and recycling. The publication demonstrates the successful balance achieved in European countries, where high recycling rates have gone hand-in-hand with high EfW rates and low-dependence on landfill.

Other aids

CIWM will soon offer a waste awareness certificate, aimed at those responsible for a company’s waste management. Crucially, the certificate will assist with legislative compliance. Anyone interested should get in touch with CIWM’s waste awareness certificate team. In addition, CIWM is planning to run a one-day event aimed specifically at waste producers at its annual conference and exhibition in June 2004. CIWM’s spokesperson said: “This shows we do recognise the importance of waste producers and we have been working with people like Envirowise to get into this field.”

Energy from Waste: A Good Practice Guide can be ordered from CIWM’s website: by selecting ‘publications’.

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