Friday, February 01, 2013

UK Energy from Waste - Don't Get Hurt By The Waste Hierarchy

Energy from Waste - Watch out for the waste hierarchyTake care energy from waste people - Don't let the Waste Hierarchy Bite!

The topic today is the UK Waste Regs. and how important it is when planning a UK energy from waste project, not to "fall and get hurt by" the Waste Hierarchy!

Generating energy from waste, including anaerobic digestion -

"Overview; Conventional technologies; Advanced conversion technologies; Environmental controls; Obstacles to energy from waste; Anaerobic digestion strategy ..."
The link above will take you to a new page which is a great starting point for anyone looking for an official page setting out the current requirements for compliance of new AD plants (and also feedstock changes to existing energy from waste facilities), with UK regulations and we recommend that those starting out to plan an AD Plant/ Biogas Plant in the UK will find this new page very useful.

It starts by explaining the current UK obligation for all energy from waste projects, which exists under the revised EU Waste Framework Directive to apply the waste hierarchy, before deciding on suitable EfW/ AD Plant feedstocks. Take care to consider this as it ranks waste management options in order of environmental preference.

The important point here is that you will need to be able to show that you have complied with the first priority of waste reduction, when you submit for a permit for any waste to energy project.
They point out that:
"Recovering energy from waste is only appropriate for waste that cannot be prevented, reused or recycled with less greenhouse gas emitted.
Energy recovery can be a sustainable option for waste that would otherwise go to landfill and create landfill methane emissions."
From which all AD and biogas plant project planners must realize that they mean that you will have to be able to show that suitable actions have already been taken to follow the heirarchy, and that is usually BEFORE it arrives as your feedstock. In most cases this will not be difficult, and the main action will usually be to obtain evidence that your feedstock source organisation has applied the waste hierarchy before the waste arrives at your energy from waste plant.

Nevertheless, this is an important step in obtaining UK permits, and it is easily missed.

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