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Scottish Waste Summit Edinburgh, 3rd October, 2007


Title: Slide 1 Subject: Waste Minimisation Author: peter.olsen Last modified by: john.ferguson Created Date: 9/22/2006 2:27:09 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Scottish Waste Summit Edinburgh, 3rd October, 2007

Scottish Waste Summit Edinburgh, 3rd October,
  • Debate Motion
  • Zero Waste and Energy from Waste are not

Zero Waste What is it and what is it not?
  • There are various definitions Heres one
  • "ZERO WASTE is the recycling of all materials
    back into nature or the marketplace, in a manner
    that protects human health and the environment."
    Source Lynn Landes, Founder and Director
  • Others e.g. The Planning Group of the Zero Waste
    International Alliance definition, November 29,
    2004, specifically exclude landfill and burning
  • The concept grew out of the Zero defects in
    manufacturing agenda. where it was a commitment
    to ever improving quality and standards.
  • All have a primary focus on recycling when the
    onus should be on prevention but inclusive of
    total resource management including energy.
  • All are acceptable as aspirational goals but
    should, as with Zero Tollerance, Zero Poverty,
    Zero Crime etc be recognised in context to a
    continuous journey of improvement not a fixed end
  • None will help us deal with waste in the short to
    medium term.
  • None recognise that the drivers to deliver Zero
    Waste are global, EU, UK then Scottish in
    decreasing order of influence. Such is the
    reality of globalisation.
  • None overtly recognise that the real issue is
    unsustainable human consumption.
  • All exhibit a healthy concern at burning
    rubbish but do not delve deeper to evaluate how
    energy recovery can work effectively as part of a
    fully integrated resource management system.
  • Zero Waste is not a realistic end point but a
    good aspirational driver to continual improvement.

Zero Waste - What could it be in practical terms?
  • "Zero Waste aims for continual improvement in
    reducing consumption and preventing and reusing
    waste before recycling or recovering value from
    all other materials, ensuring that human health
    and the environment are protected."
  • I will now try to show how a practical
    application of a Zero Waste approach could be
    achieved both in terms of the application of the
    waste hierarchy and other connected disciplines.

Zero Waste, the Waste Hierarchy and Resource
  • Preventing Waste - In terms of zero waste this is
    the starting point. Scotland is first part of UK
    to publish a Waste Prevention Strategy deliver
    and build on this. Push the limits of devolved
    competence and get better at influencing others.
  • Re-use - Major benefits in the social economy
    including employment, excellent work by CRNS
    growing. Keep it growing.
  • Recycling - David Dougherty has shown us how we
    can in increase our recycling his presentation
    this morning and much work has been done on this
    recently by Scottish Government.
  • Energy from waste Ill come to this shortly,
    but look at what else is happening
  • Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of
    Natural Resources - This for the first time
    creates an environment in which global resources
    can be looked at as a global issue emerging.
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production - Pending
    EU Action Plan For the first time we are
    acknowledging that neither our production systems
    nor our consumption patterns are sustainable and
    this is a threat to global development, global
    equity and a decent life for all of this planets
  • Integrated Product Policies - This looks at how
    we can manufacture our goods with greater
    efficiency, lower eco-footprint and less damage
    to the environment. Close links to Producer
    Responsibility which we are increasingly familiar
  • Industrial ecology and Industrial symbiosis
    emerging concepts to reduce resource use and
    maintain cradle to cradle resource use loops.
  • All of this is happening now driven by increasing
    resource costs and competition, environmental
    awareness, Corporate Social Responsibility and
    ever tightening legislation.
  • Zero Waste needs to encapsulate all of this
    current activity to become one of the drivers to
    continual improvement in how we use resources and
    protect our environment and human health.

Zero Waste and Energy from Waste
  • It does not have to become a sideways shift from
    hump and dump to churn and burn.
  • It can work with high recycling levels
  • Our European neighbours have evolved both
  • There are various ways we can avoid the feed the
    beast scenario.
  • It is regulated stringently and SEPA will
    strictly enforce!
  • It can form part of an integrated resource
    management not a waste disposal system.
  • How could we do it then?

Energy from Waste in Context to Zero Waste It
can be done!
  • Rigorous application of the waste hierarchy
    especially waste prevention.
  • Increase recycling by recovering more materials
    from kerbside and other recycling systems and
    from residual waste adding to front end
    recycling. SEPA modelling shows we could
    certainly exceed 60!
  • Segregate the waste biomass to a condensed,
    energy rich fuel and use it efficiently. If it
    isnt fuel dont use it!
  • Integrate the primary and secondary biomass
    sectors with this (tertiary!). waste biomass
  • Prioritise the use of waste biomass over primary
    thus reducing the life cycle and biodiversity
    impacts and subsidy requirement of primary
  • Contribute to energy security, carbon neutrality,
    economic regeneration and carbon neutral housing.
  • The technologies exist to achieve this MBT or
    MRF with Anaerobic Digestion or Gasification. All
    burn a gas not a solid phase therefore emission
    are better and we should realise that there are
    concerns from the growth of solid fuel burning in
    terms of Scotlands air equality strategy.
  • However standard incineration is tried and tested
    and works all are subject to the same strict
    emission controls. It is largely a question of
    scale and how we recover energy efficiently.
  • Also source segregated compost had a good future
    but the potential for this material from residual
    waste will be limited waste biomass in residual
    waste is in my view better used for energy.
  • Use the planning system effectively and
    integrating economic development, housing and
    energy policy (especially renewable biomass) to
    drive the efficient use of all biomass energy
    systems. We can build the next generation of
    facilities as district heating or combined heat
    and power at 60 plus efficiency and lead in
    Europe, not follow where they were 30 years ago.
  • We can sell this to the public. in a way that we
    will struggle if we build large scale low
    efficiency mass burn facilities. If we do this
    for MSW then we will have to do the same for a
    much larger volume of Commercial and Industrial
    waste if we want to tackle the move away from
    landfill for these waste. It is not the quick and
    easy tried and tested solution we think and risks
    lengthy planning delays. Smaller scale facilities
    using only energy rich waste fuels once all
    viable recyclate has been recovered mean the
    burden from small scale facilities is spread more
    widely (an environmental justice issue) and we
    would need less capacity in these facilities.
  • SEPA will shortly publish a report on the energy
    content of waste biomass in Scotland. Early
    indications are that the amount of energy if used
    efficiently is much higher than anticipated.

In Conclusion
  • We must prevent waste as a priority.
  • We can reach high levels of recycling and recover
    energy efficiently.
  • We can do all of this with tried and tested
  • We can do this knowing the benefits to climate
    change and resource conservation and on the basis
    of benefits and safety sell this to the public.
  • SEPA stands ready to model and assess any
    proposed systems and assist Scottish Government
    and local authorities in developing the best
  • Bottom line it may cost more in the short term.
    But it will pay dividends as energy security,
    climate change and resource competition pressures
    increase over time as they inevitably will.
  • We are at a watershed in Scottish waste
    management and what we do next will either build
    in 30 years of obsolescence or show Scotland as a
    leader in innovation in waste and resource
    management systems and technologies, addressing
    its climate change impacts, resource conservation
    and contributing to carbon neutral energy
    security making Zero Waste a total waste resource
    management reality.
  • Local Authorities need clear objectives give
    them these and they will deliver.
  • Finally ladies and gentlemen, I oppose the motion
    today, not because I or SEPA are pro
    incineration, we are not, we are pro integrated
    resource management, but because to waste energy
    in any system cannot be compatible with any Zero
    Waste policy.
  • A full Copy of this presentation and notes is
    available from