Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I was an anaerobic digester once...

Great post at EU Referendum on the anaerobic digesters that are going to eat our waste. They aren't addressing a shortage of landfill sites and the Government are proudly subsidising a technology when it was EU regulations that killed its development in the private sector:

"Read my lips: there is no shortage of landfill sites. There is a shortage of landfill capacity, which is a wholly different thing. And that is entirely because of the EU's landfill directive which imposes severe constraints on the use of landfill as a waste disposal option.

We actually dealt with this issue in an earlier piece, where we relied on another blogger who had done the maths, demonstrating unequivocally that landfill sites are actually being generated faster than we could fill them.

That lack of knowledge also pervades the rest of his story. He writes uncritically of the government being "so confident that anaerobic digesters offer a realistic means of dealing with food waste that earlier this year it offered £10 million in grants to encourage the construction of further demonstrator plants. Plans for at least 60 are under way in Britain."

This we dealt with in a story last January when I set out a dire tale about how private enterprises had embraced anaerobic digesters as an admirable solution to organic waste disposal, only to have the economics of their systems wrecked by the dead hand of the Environment Agency.

The EA insisted on classifying these systems as "scheduled processes" – under an EU directive – and then charging exorbitant "authorisation" and "subsistence" fees which, with the stultifying and time-consuming bureaucracy involved, ensured that few digesters were installed. Those that were quickly became disused simply because, under the burden of regulation, they were too expensive to operate.

So, now that the government has effectively priced the system out of the market, it is offering public money – our money – to encourage the use of a well-tried and working technology that it, itself, has hamstrung."

1 comment:

RobW said...

Brilliant. F**king Brilliant. I really, really love our government.