A view from the West

Featuring food, fuel and the future in Jersey

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Incinerator part 3a

This post is part of my incinerator series. Part 3 looks at a couple of alternatives to the TTS proposed and preferred solution. This is Part 3a, and looks at the Environment Scrutiny Panel's proposal on waste recycling. It is an important point -the incinerator is part of a waste strategy and management system. Reduced consumption, less waste production, increased reuse and greater recycling all affect the feed to the incinerator, and hence its size and appropriate technology for dealing with waste and residual waste. 

Some background:

In July 2005 the States agree a Waste Strategy. The president of the Environment and Public Services Committee (Sen Ozouf) wrote:

"The island community is ready to embrace a more environmentally aware approach. We want to harness this enthusiasm and we have incorporated proposals to promote and encourage alternatives to simply throwing things into the dustbin which currently end up being incinerated . An ideal situation would be where all sectors of society work towards a target of zero waste. However in the foreseeable future we will be left with some waste as happens in even the most advanced countries."

In his 'Keeping Jersey Special' speech The Chief Minister said "I want the parishes to implement separated kerbside collection of recyclable materials as soon as possible and support Transport and Technical Services in reaching and bettering their new targets."

The Scrutiny Panel's proposal.

Agree as soon as possible an integrated approach between parishes, States and private sector to provide segregated collection of dry recyclables and kitchen waste. A weekly food collection to ensure residual waste s much easier to handle and reduced health hazard.

Dry recyclables should be sorted and baled in a Materials Recycling facility for export and sale.  There is spare capacity (or at least there was when the report came out) on shipping routes to export all the islands recycled materials several times over.

Kitchen waste should be either co-composted with green waste using in-vessel technology, or processed through an anaerobic digester. The biogas produced by the digester can be used to run buses.

The technologies the panel recommended are off the shelf units.  The smaller units should be quicker and cheaper to install than the 3 years expected for the EfW (energy from waste) plant.

In vessel composting capital cost £4 millon
Anaerobic digester capital cost £6 million
Materials Recycling facility capital cost £5 million
Residual  treatment plant capital cost £20-30 million.

Details of the Waste recycling options are in a report presented by the Environment Scrutiny panel to the States on 3rd July 2007.

Also note that much increased recycling should create real employment opportunities for social enterprises.

Independent review
An independent review of the Waste Strategy, and possible alternatives, was conducted by Juniper and reported 17th April 2008.  They note the following:

...32% recycling target set in the Waste strategy would be regarded nowadays as a relatively modest goal.

..Some of the ideas contained within the Scrutiny Panel's earlier 2007 report merit greater consideration.

..Handling all the islands residual waste in a single EfW is an acceptable way of dealing with the problems. However we do not  accept that a case has yet been made that this is either the only practical  approach or indeed the best approach for Jersey.

In our view the TTS has failed  to demonstrate that they have sized the EfW appropriately. Insufficient evidence was provided that their decision was informed by:
  1. formal quantitative up-to-date modelling of mass flows into EfW under a range of scenarios;
  2. financial analysis of the benefits of procuring a large plant now versus a small plant now with further plant (if required) at a later date
  3. formal risk analysis of the consequences of wrongly predicting the quantity and nature of wastes over the lifetime of the plant
Our review has concluded that biological processing could play a greater role in recycling specific fractions of the island's waste in to good quality composts.

Juniper conclude the optimal approach is likely to include:
  • a recognition by the administration that the practical steps adopted so far are insufficient to deliver, and on occasion, at odds with the vision outlined in the Waste Strategy.
  • a political consensus between parishes and the States to adopt a more pro-active,integrated approach towards, the collection of waste on the island involving source-separation, separate collections of dry recyclables and kitchen waste; possibly offset by less frequent collection of residual waste;
  • a more positive attitude towards driving forward recycling (seeing the opportunities rather than the barriers , however real the latter may be);
  • more consideration of political and practical initiatives towards waste minimisation;
  • more encouragement of the private sector recycling initiatives, perhaps in conjunction with the parish collection system;
  • more consideration by the States of their policies on commercial waste pricing and  new obligations on business to be responsible for their own wastes;
  • more focus in boosting rates of commercial waste recycling through more effective source separation;
  • a re-evaluation of the policy of accepting unsorted commercial waste free of charge that is delivered to the Bellozane site
  • a move away  from mass burn incineration towards source separation and, in relation to the residual fraction, a combination of a simple fuel preparation/sanitation process and a far smaller EfW using, modular, smaller scale technologies
  • separate processing  of commercial and household kitchen waste at an AD facility
  • re-engagement with Jersey Potato and UK supermarkets to bring up-to -date policies on landspreading of properly certified, high quality composts that derive from source separated feeds
  • institution of trials on co-processing green waste compost and AD digestate to make a soil improver optimised for Jersey soils and agricultural practices.
NOTE that the health issues of the treament of the risidual waste are not particularly considered.  In principle by removing the organic material before processing, some risks shoud be reduced.  How far the particulate output is affected is dependent on what is going in. 


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