What a waste

The Daily Wail has a piece today titled ‘Binmen take a battering‘ which reports how frustration among residents at ever more rules and regulations on household waste disposal – combined officiousness and high handed behaviour by councils and rubbish collectors – is boiling over into instances of violence.

What has happened has being typically overblown by the Wail, but where it’s happening it is an unsurprising reaction to public servants imposing constraints on the people they are supposed to serve, without any consultation or permission.  In short it is a reaction to everyday, overbearing, anti-democratic behaviour by the establishment.

As is usual with the British media the article stops where it does and makes no attempt to explore possible solutions or explain where and how the regulations originated.  So being a considerate chap, I have just left the following comment for consideration:

There is a simple solution to disposing of rubbish that would go into landfill – PLASMA GASIFICATION. It is a safe form or incineration that doesn’t put dioxins in the air and leaves only a small amount of residue which is inert and can be used as hard core for roads and developments.  Plasma gasification units, which have a 35-45 year life and would pay for themselves within 10 years, can also work in the same way as combined heat and power units.  Instead of putting waste into landfill, incurring huge costs thanks to the EU, landfill can actually be emptied and sent for gasification thereby generating power and solving the waste problem.  Ask your local and county councils and councillors why they are not installing this technology instead of burying rubbish or using incinerators.

To be clear, I have painted the positive side of plasma gasification and not referenced some of the cost and maintenance issues.  But the cost and maintenance issues could be quickly reduced if the technology was taken up more widely because there would be commercial value in improving the offering and increasing the longevity of systems within the plant.  The technology has opponents who play up the downsides, from anecdotal experience these tend to be people with interests in building and running incinerators, which is why the Wikipedia page puts concerns before the advantages.

In the county where I live I raised this issue with the county council ‘cabinet’ member with responsibility in this area.  He pledged to look at gasification but did nothing of the sort, and is now involved in a local fight over his decision to sanction a new incinerator.  Lazy, backward thinking and ignorance of the opportunities that exist.  Yet another example of how the public interest comes a distant also-ran to vested interests and narrow minded views.

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7 Responses to “What a waste”


  1. 1 Brian H 13/10/2012 at 11:21 am

    Check out plascoenergygroup.com
    They will pay for everything — the plant, etc.
    They will bury nothing. You can even dig up old landfills to “feed” them.

  2. 3 Joe Public 13/10/2012 at 11:56 am

    When our single wheelie bin, emptied weekly, was exchanged (without consultation) for a (same-size) recyclable + (1/2-size) non-recyclable each emptied fortnightly. Yet our Council Tax was not reduced, despite the fact that our council removes 25% less rubbish.

    And, certain waste such as grass cuttings has to be hidden in plastic bags & buried within the non-recyclables.

  3. 4 Brian H 13/10/2012 at 5:55 pm

    Part of the farce is that only metal recycling actually still pays for itself. Which in many jurisdictions results in all that carefully separated glass, paper, and plastic being covertly put back in the landfill stream after collection; it’s too expensive to actually use them.

    Some newsprint plants are “short” of paper to recycle, partly as a result, but they only “need” it because they are mandated to use a certain % as feedstock.

  4. 5 Brian H 13/10/2012 at 5:59 pm

    Trees are cropped like other useful plants.
    “Recycle your paper; save a tree!”
    “Recycle your breadcrumbs; save the wheat!”

    make equal sense.

  5. 6 donwreford 19/10/2012 at 11:37 am

    The solution Plasco offers as waste management, is as the ideal the perfect solution, Plasco, having in excess of 220 million dollars, financing this company, from government sources and private enterprise, and having a 600 thousand dollar assessment of claims, is yet to be published, having had several problems in leaks and discharges, is as yet unconvincing in terms of science and capital costs.
    As collapse of Western democracies occur, as we understand what democracies are at present, a result of unsatisfactory energy crises, and other problems, such as corruption and waste.
    I have been unsuccessful in working out bio-fuels for military aircraft, such as with jets, in relation to hectors of crops to support this propulsion and use of energy, I suggest few countries are realistically able to support such indulgences, in particular as in future food shortages.
    The faith we have in science as solutions to Mans existence, is not shared by all, in particular, money supply is crucial in funding, funding requires results, increasing systems will emerge of dubious claims, from scientific community, Plasco, and its molecular interest, may be a example of brains baffling commonsense.

  6. 7 Brian H 19/10/2012 at 12:37 pm

    Don’t mean to hector you, dw, but it’s ‘hectare’.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt your random mental ramblings.


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