The future of Waste Management in Hertfordshire

The future of Waste Management in Hertfordshire –
How to avoid paying for a £220 million pound incinerator.
Incineration with ‘energy recovery’ - is an old
backward technology based on consume and
destroy which runs counter to the key core
objectives of the Herts Municipal Waste
Management Strategy.
 Worsens Climate Change – by releasing the
carbon trapped in the plastics and organic
Resources taken from the environment.
matter which is burnt. Recycling and waste
Waste put into the environment.
minimization saves four times more
greenhouse gas emissions than incineration with ‘energy recovery’.
 Pollution – creates pollutants in toxic ash which is then used as road aggregate and
building blocks, with some going to landfill – the pollutants are released from these
materials over time entering ground water and water courses. Remember that for
every tonne of waste going into an incinerator a tonne comes out (about 30% ash
contaminated with heavy metals, dioxins, furans and other pollutants, 4% fly ash
from the chimney scrubbers – highly polluted and toxic, and the rest is dumped into
the atmosphere).
 Works against recycling - by requiring materials for burning that could be recycled
once better collection and waste minimisation strategies are in place (i.e. organic
matter - paper, card, food waste etc, and plastics).
 Destroys valuable materials that could be recycled into new products. Recycling
saves far more energy than is created by burning waste as it avoids having to make
products from virgin materials.
 Doesn't provide an incentive for reducing waste, as incinerators need a
minimum amount of rubbish to operate efficiently. Contracts for incinerators also
tend to be long-term, requiring waste for 20 – 30 years.
 Cost and Inflexibility– the most expensive option with contracts for it to be ‘fed’ for
25 – 30 years. Cambridgeshire have rejected incineration partly on grounds of cost.
 It is an ‘end of pipe’ solution which treats the symptoms not the cause. For
every tonne of waste burnt a further 5 tonnes of waste is produced in the processing
and manufacture of the articles in the waste stream.
Incineration diagram.
Natural resources
Destruction of
and depletion
of resources.
For every tonne
of waste from homes,
five is produced in
Around 90%
of what is bought,
is rubbish six
months later.
For every
tonne burnt,
a tonne of
pollution is
 Write to your local councillors making it clear that you want alternatives to
incineration. Who? See
 Write to the local papers
 Contact Peter Davidson (Head of Procurement of the Herts Waste Partnership)
 Talk about this with your friends.
PTO for solutions.
What are the alternatives and why choose them? - Forward looking technologies
which reduce consumption, re-use resources, create jobs and reduce climate change
impacts – e.g. lower cost flexible options such as Mechanical Biological Treatment &
Anaerobic Digestion with energy recovery (less than half the cost for the same capacity).
This sort of option has shorter contracts, and allows much increased recycling levels (up to
80-90%). It would allow waste minimisation strategies, to reduce and eventually eliminate
waste which can not be re-used or recycled.
Tackle the cause of the problem - Institute a zero waste policy.
 In the short term (5-10 years or so) increase source separated recycling to improve
the quality of the recyclate, and use relatively low cost and flexible means e.g.
mechanical biological treatment (MBT) to process the remaining mixed waste into
recyclable elements, and biodegradable material. For the latter use anaerobic
digestion (AD) to generate bio-gas for energy production, and the stabilised residue
for a soil enhancer or for landfill (LATS exempt). Cambridgeshire have opted for this
 In the long-term aim for zero waste. This means phasing out those materials, which
cannot be re-used or recycled, so that the flow of materials follows a circular not a
linear path. All the outputs are inputs for something else, and so there is no residue
or waste to be disposed of to landfill or incineration.
A zero waste policy out-performs any other in terms of
energy saving, greenhouse gas emissions,
sustainable economics, creation of jobs (benefits the
local economy), and conservation of resources.
However, it does not make a large subsidised profit
for the incineration industry form the taxpayer’s purse.
Take only what can be replenished.
Recycle what we already have.
Return only biodegradable waste.
Zero Waste policies are being pursued by:● New Zealand (by 2004 over 60% of municipalities
had declared a zero waste goal by 2020)
Bath and NE Somerset UK
Canberra Australia – aiming for ‘no waste’ by 2010
San Francisco – aiming for zero waste by 2020
Toronto Canada
Kamikatsu, Japan Zero Waste by 2020 (80% recycling household waste now)
The Philippines
Halifax Nova Scotia
Scottish Gov considering zero waste legislation (27/7/08)
 Write to your local councillors making it clear that you want alternatives to
incineration. Herts waste Councillors:
Brian Hill Broxbourne BC Bob Bick Broxbourne BC Herbert Chapman Dacorum BC
Terence Milner East Herts C Derrick Ashley (Chair) Hertfordshire CC
Jean Haywood Hertsmere BC Lynda Needham North Herts DC Mike Ellis St Albans DC
Phil Brading (Vice Chair) Three Rivers DC Derek Scudder Watford BC
Clare Berry Welwyn Hatfield BC Cllr Richard Henry, Stevenage BC
 Write to the local papers and your MP
 Contact Peter Davidson (Head of Procurement of the Herts Waste Partnership)
For further information contact: David Ashton: [email protected] 01438 871315
Dan Gomm [email protected] 01462632479
Wendy Atwell 07914 551833
Herts WithOutWaste 3/09