May 3rd, 2013

Too much authority, not enough planning

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by Mike Brown

 

I owe Deborah Meaden a bit of an apology. In an article in February I cocked a snook at her comments that the key considerations about the Gloucestershire incinerator were aesthetic, when for me the central issues were long term availability of feedstock and whether the scale of the incinerator was consistent with maximising recycling.

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March 4th, 2013

Incinerators in the dragons’ den

Sheffield Incinerator

by Mike Brown

 

Sometimes it takes a really clear expression of the fundamentals of a point of view to help you see what’s wrong with it. A couple of weekends ago, BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions came to the Gloucester Guildhall. One of the hot local topics is the county council’s incinerator plan, and a number of its opponents were in the audience, and a question was raised about whether it was “a blot on the landscape or a necessary step to securing an ecologically sustainable environment”.

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October 26th, 2012

Waste infrastructure: planning to fail

Gravel Pit Excavation, off Sands Lane, Mirfield - geograph.org.uk - 107936

By Mike Brown

 

Why isn’t merchant residual waste infrastructure getting built? Millions of tonnes of non-recyclable commercial and industrial (C&I) waste is being landfilled each year when it could be moved up the hierarchy. Meanwhile there is enough capacity with planning consent to treat 5 million tonnes per year more waste than we landfill, but many facilities remain just blueprints.

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September 25th, 2012

The tax that dare not speak its name

Marchwood EfW Plant

by Mike Brown

 

Amongst the speakers at the Resource & Waste Management show in Birmingham last week was physicist Brian Cox, who explained the likely cost of disposing of waste by sending it into space. It would be about $2,000 per kilogram, apparently, to reach only a low earth orbit, where I expect it would be a hazard to satellites and spacecraft. To propel our waste into the safety of deep space would require a gate fee that was… well, astronomical.

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July 30th, 2012

Money to burn: waste and PFI in Cornwall

by Mike Brown

 

Funerals often stimulate reflection. Travelling home from Cornish independent Councillor Pam Lyne’s memorial service on 13th July, I was thinking about one of the many causes to which she selflessly dedicated so much energy.

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