ECONOMIC WAY OF DISPOSING OF RUBBISH

At present recycling is different in most council areas and always seems to need to be reshuffled into several different commodity heaps on conveyor belts by human hands..

These heaps are then expensively compressing and reloaded onto other lorries for selling on to a purchaser who refines them again  into something more concentrated.

This is then has to be stockpiled before transporting to a final user and the rubbish left over taken by another lorry to the tip.

Well, that is a huge amount of handling and transporting that can be avoided if all the flammable material were burnt in an incinerator to produce electric power and heat.

Surely the government can direct councils to route all burnable rubbish including wood, paper, plastics, packaging etc, to a nearby moving grate power plant with stack scrubbers.   

A separate bin for tins, metals, and glass, tiles etc would still be needed and sorted but only about 10% instead of the 90% now.

Parents
  • I thought engineering was about solving problems, not saying "its too hard, let's not bother".

    Plastic bottles are not only recyclable, but useful things can be made from them.  They can be sorted by automated machines.  So why give up and burn them, only to suck more oil out of the ground to make more bottles?

    Paper can be recycled by machines.  Mixed recycled paper will always be low grade, but it can be used for packaging and the like, as an alternative to plastics.

  • I think you rather missed my point. by all means recycle what you can and use the plastics like PET twice, but at the moment far too much ends up in the sea,  or land fill, when burning them would be a lot better than that, and to a small degree incineration saves extracting oil and gas to burn directly, in that yes it uses oil but at least it was at least some packaging first before we burnt it.. In terms of volumes, the plastics industry is a small parasite on the side of the fuel business the really significant saving will be to get away from oil and gas as major fuels.

    Mike.

  • But the cost of recycling and additional transport costs must be taken into account. If we are going to use hydrocarbon fuels like gas, coal or oil to run our power station then the least we can do is to burn rubbish hydrocarbons like plastic packaging first. 

    Somewhere I read that we each create our own weight in rubbish every year so we have 66 million people average weight 50 kg and 1 kg of hydrocarbon produces 10 kWh of energy.  Do the maths and see the saving.

Reply
  • But the cost of recycling and additional transport costs must be taken into account. If we are going to use hydrocarbon fuels like gas, coal or oil to run our power station then the least we can do is to burn rubbish hydrocarbons like plastic packaging first. 

    Somewhere I read that we each create our own weight in rubbish every year so we have 66 million people average weight 50 kg and 1 kg of hydrocarbon produces 10 kWh of energy.  Do the maths and see the saving.

Children
  • Every bit of plastic you burn means more oil has to be drawn out of the ground.  And oil is gradually running out. 

    Every bale of scrap paper that's fed into an incinerator is another tree that needs to be cut down.  They may plant more trees to replace the ones cut down, but it means more acres of monoculture conifers.