Waste and Recycling – review of the year 2009

The waste sector had a good year in 2009 as recycling rates rose and on-going local and national government investment ensured new facilities and technologies continued to appear.

One example saw work getting underway at a Scottish bioenergy plant to convert waste from the whisky-making process into energy.

The £65m project at Fife’s Cameronbridge Distillery will use spent wash – a mix of wheat, malted barley, yeast and water – to meet the plant’s energy needs.

Highlighting a general trend of increased recycling figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency reveal the country’s yearly recycling and composting rate rose to 35.2% for the year July 2008 to June 2009.

In terms of current recycling performance, the recycling and composting rate for the first quarter of 2009/10 (April to June) increased to 38.7%, an improvement on 35.4% for the same quarter of last year.

The English summer wasn’t a scorcher in 2009 – but at least people braving the weather on one south coast beach will be able to make sure they recycled.

Brighton beach is now offering recycling bins for mixed glass, plastic bottles, mixed paper and card, drinks cans and food tins just yards from the water.

Brighton and Hove City Council is putting the first two bins on what it says is the busiest stretch of seafront between the piers, in a drive to keep beaches clean.

Of the more bizarre stories organised crime cartels of southern Italy appear to be dumping the waste game – they’ve been associated with for decades for a move to renewables.

Police in the region made a series of arrests this week following allegations of corruption over the awarding of contracts for the construction of a Sicilian wind farm.

According to investigators, officials were bribed with luxury cars and cash to give the contract, worth hundreds of thousands of Euros, to Mafia-backed businesses.

Luke Walsh

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