04 Dec

Platin Cement Burner- Skyfill is a bad idea.

 


Nov 2017 Submission to ABP Platin 

PLATIN: We’re concerned that this project will stop us recycling

Phosphorus and Nitrogen are needed to grow food , not burn as Fuel for Cement kilns.

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland (ZWAI) are very concerned at the use of recyclable materials as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). We know that this is a dangerous manner of turning Landfill materials into Skyfill pollution. Cement kilns are not designed to manage in an environmentally safe manner the pollutants that arise from the burning of a mix of recyclable and landfill bound materials. We have objected to An Bord Pleanala when such BAD IDEAS are proposed, most recently in Limerick and Duleek.

We made an additional Oral Submission to the Inspector of
An Board Pleanála  on the 22nd November 2017 in regard to  the  Platin Cement Proposal. It is a 10 year permission to facilitate further replacement of fossil fuel with alternative fuels  (RDF) and allow for introduction of alternative raw materials in the manufacturing of cement at Platin Works Platin, Duleek, Co Meath

ZWAI are an advocacy group promoting ways to recycle & recover materials and keep resources away from waste disposal so that they can be sustainably recycled. We are  particularly concerned about materials that are finite or are limited in their natural availability. So naturally, we question the wisdom of burning materials at the Platin Cement Kiln that in particular contain phosphorus and nitrogen.

You can read our Oral Hearing submission here.

Valuable Nutrients are lost.

The waste categories listed by Irish Cement  below are proposed to be incinerated in the cement kiln. Initially almost all of these originally required the use of Natural Gas or Coal to make the ammonia fraction of fertilizer for their growth. By burning in a cement kiln, Phosphorus will be wasted and will not be recovered. This is an essential element that is necessary for fertilizer to produce food.

Categories of waste that are proposed to be burned at Platin cement factory

CLASS

02 01 02

DESCRIPTION

animal-tissue waste

19 08 05

sludges from treatment of urban waste water

02 01 03

plant-tissue waste

02 01 06

animal faeces, urine and manure (including spoiled straw), effluent, collected separately and treated off-site

19 12 06

sludges from on-site effluent treatment other than those mentioned in 19 11 05

02 03 05

sludges from on-site effluent treatment

19 08 05

sludges from treatment of urban waste water

19 08 12

sludges from biological treatment of industrial waste water other than those mentioned in 19 08 11

19 08 14

sludges from other treatment of industrial waste water other than those mentioned in 19 08 13

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland(ZWAI) demands that Sewage Sludge or any of the other similar categories listed by “Irish Cement” that contain Nitrogen and Phosphorus should not be burned in the cement kiln for the following reasons:

  1. The Fossil Fuels (Natural Gas and Coal) that are used to make ammonia gas for fertilizer are finite and will eventually be depleted. We must reduce significantly the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the making of ammonia fertilizer. Any finite material must instead be recycled.
  2. The Burning of Nitrogen (Ammonia) and its loss to the atmosphere results in this resource being no longer available to farmers as part of the fertilizer to grow food.
  3. The emission of NOx will cause ozone in sunlight conditions. At ground levels ozone will cause ambient air pollution and should therefore be avoided.
  4. The energy of the Nitrogen (Ammonia) recovered in the Cement Kiln will not replace or be equal to the total energy required for its original manufacture, its processing as an NPK fertilizer, its transport around the world or the energy for its application on farms.
  5. Because the nitrogen is not being recycled locally to grow food it forces the continuation of this very wasteful energy intensive Harber & Bosch method that is depleting the remaining finite resources of natural gas. This failure to recycle nitrogenous waste as a fertilizer is not sustainable.
  6. The Green House gases that are generated by the manufacturing of Ammonia using the Haber & Bosch process contribute to climate change and must be reduced and eventually avoided.
  7. Phosphorus fertilizer is likely to become expensive in Europe, India and other parts of the world over the coming 20 to 40 years as the resources of the USA and China, two of the three remaining countries with phosphorus rock begin to protect their own national supplies. When “peak phosphorus” is upon us and world demand is greater than the supply then no nation will have cheap phosphorus to sell to Ireland. Unless we recycle nutrients of nitrogen and phosphorus, food prices in supermarkets that are based on fossil fuel and mined phosphorus fertilizer will become volatile, then more expensive, then affordable and eventually will not be for sale at all.
  8. Phosphorus is a finite resource that can be replaced by no other element. If burned in cement kilns this strategically important resource will be lost and wasted forever.
    We must therefore recycle Nitrogen and Phosphorus. We must avoid the possibility of a world population collapse.

We ask  An Board Pleanála to prioritize the long term public interest and put this above the private short term interests of a private business. It is not in the public interest that we should ignore the need for future food security.

01 Dec

Green Bin Rules – are we unpaid recycling workers?


green bin rules

Are we working as unpaid staff for the recycling companies?

It might seem like that when you read the revised green bin collection guidelines given by the Co Councils for household waste recycling. We must sort, separate, loosen, wash, clean and dry our materials before they go in the green bin. That’s hard work and we still have to pay them to have it taken away.

It was a surprise to listeners of Cork’s 96FM Radio station this week when we discussed the apparent ‘new green bin rules’ outlined by the Councils through the Regional Waste Management Authorities. These rules were always in place since 2014 but never policed until the rejection of recycled waste shipments by the Chinese in the past few months put waste shippers under pressure to improve their quality controls. This has resulted in a call going back to consumers here to provide ‘cleaner’ recycled materials. Rejected materials cost the waste shippers dearly and will result in higher prices here to consumers ultimately as they have to re-work the materials before re-exporting. (we don’t really do a lot of recycling in Ireland in actual fact. Our apparent ‘good recycling rates’ are just collection  and export for recycling abroad. We really need to do more real recycling and remanufacturing in Ireland and create the green jobs here. But that’s another blog topic.

More  info: PJ Coogan on Cork’s 96FM Opinion line discusses the issues with waste quality rules now being enforced on households.

Why should the items be clean and dry?

If your container contained food or liquid, then some residues will remain. These will contaminate the recycling process so they must be rinsed clean to remove the matter before going into your recycle bin (green bin). Food and liquid can contaminate the materials in the recycling bin especially the paper recycling process. Wet paper cannot be recycled.

Why is there a new list?

It’s not a new list. It will vary from area to area depending on recycling facilities available. Recycled materials such as paper and cardboard, metals and plastic are sold on the global market, by the recyclers but the prices and demand for these materials constantly change. To get the best value for our materials, they need to be cleaned and sorted. China and India are major buyers of recyclable material from Europe and they use these materials for manufacturing instead of extracting raw materials. As stated above, over the past year, China and India have enforced higher standards on received stocks.  Mixed materials such as plastics, paper or cardboard baled together or contaminated items (or those containing unrecyclable elements)  are being rejected.  To sell our bulk recyclable materials we need to be able to separate these materials quickly and easily at the recycler depots and ensure they are contaminant free.  

The cycle starts with the householder. So there are 2 things to do.

  1. Sort and clean the recyclable items from the non-recyclable ones.
  2. Only put into the green bin those items allowed. Put them in dry, clean and loose.

What about paper food containers. What is recyclable?
Any paper food container that has been soiled with food or become damp is not recyclable and should be put in the residual bin or composted. For example, pizza boxes and other fast food or takeaway containers.  (The contamination will impact the paper recycling & re-pulping process negatively so we must avoid them).

Tip. Remember you can always just tear away or cut out soiled areas of these boxes and recycle the undamaged parts. This is worth the effort if only a small area has become contaminated. 

  • Paperboard food containers such as cereal boxes, paper egg cartons, and cake mix boxes that are unsoiled are recyclable. Just remove the plastic lining and shake out extra food crumbs.
  • Empty frozen food boxes should be placed in the recycling bin  (green bin) along with Milk and juice cartons, once washed.

What About Glass?

Glass does not go in the household recycling bin. Collect all bottles and place in glass bottle banks. You may have a separate glass bin collection in some areas but if not take the bottles to your local community bring centre. Glass can be recycled repeatedly.
Beware that not all glassware can be put in glass banks such as cookware, Pyrex, plates, cups and ceramics. And don’t forget to remove the metal or plastic lids of glass items before recycling them  These lids are generally PP plastic or metal so are recyclable in the green bin.

The recyclable list.

Paper

Newspapers 

Magazines  

Junk Mail
Phone Books
Catalogues
Tissue Boxes
Sugar Bags
Calendars
Diaries
Letters
Computer Paper
Used Beverage And Juice Cartons
Milk Cartons
Egg Boxes
Paper Brochures
School Copy Books
Old School Books (If They Cannot Be Donated Or Reused)
Paper Potato Bags

Cardboard

Food Boxes
Packaging Boxes
Cereal Boxes
Kitchen Towel Tubes
Toilet Roll Tubes

Please remove any plastic inserts from cardboard boxes before placing into bin

ALUMINIUM CANS

Drinks Cans
*Empty Deodorant Cans (Plastic Lid Separate)

STEEL CANS

Pet Food Cans
Food Cans
Biscuit Tins
Soup Tins

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (PET 1)

Mineral Bottles
Water Bottles
Mouth Wash Bottles
Salad Dressing Bottles

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (HDPE 2)

 Milk Bottles
Juice Bottles
Cosmetic Bottles
Shampoo Bottles
Household Cleaning Bottles
Laundry Detergent Bottles
Window Cleaning Bottles
Bath Room Bottles
Containers Should Be Empty When Being Placed Into Recycling Bin

PLASTIC CONTAINERS (PP 5)

Yoghurt Containers
Margarine Tubs
Rigid Food Packaging
Liquid Soap Containers
Fruit Containers (With Netting Removed)

See www.repak.ie for a full list.

What’s NOT allowed in the green bin.

Put wrappers in the residual bin – they’re not recyclable

It’s especially important to know what to leave out. These items shouldn’t be in your recycling bin:

  • Contaminated Packaging (greasy, dirty or with residue). like we said above. (Cut out contaminated areas if you can)
  • Non recyclable plastic wrappings, like sweet wrappers, Tayto bags, plastic shopping bags. These plastics are not recyclable or can damage the recycling processes used for other  recyclable plastics.
  • Nappies and Sanitary Products, medicines, medical waste (including baby wipes) – put in the residual waste bin
  • Food Waste (raw or cooked) – put in your food waste bin (if there is a collection)  or compost the cooked food in your composter.
  • Grass, Garden Cuttings / Soil – put in your composter.
  • Polystyrene (EPS) – there may be separate collection or bring to your civic amenity centre.
  • Liquids/ Oils  – bring to your civic amenity centre.
  • Textiles – including clothes/shoes and home furnishings – bring to your civic amenity centre.
  • Dismantled Furniture – bring to your civic amenity centre
  • Light Bulbs, Batteries &Electrical and Electronic Equipment (remove the plugs and re-use them)
  • Other General waste that should be in the General waste Bin. e.g. building rubble

So there you have the list and you know what to do. So do you still think you’re working for the recyclers, for free? Let us know your thoughts on our FB page .