We must consider alternative solutions for waste to avoid mounting costs on the public purse, says Lifetime Recycling Village.
In light of recent moves in Somerset to begin charging local people to deposit their waste, the need to develop alternative solutions has been highlighted by the team at Lifetime Recycling Village, who are proposing to build a renewable energy and recycling facility in the West of Scotland.
Somerset Waste Partnership announced last week that residents from across the county will now be required to pay a fee when depositing rubbish at four of its eighteen recycling centres. A cost of either £1.20 or £2 will be incurred when dropping off regular waste items, whilst certain items that are more difficult to recycle will cost more – £4.30 in the case of tyres, for example.
Yet the team at Lifetime Recycling Village (LRV) believe that this trend for charging residents to deposit their waste is only set to continue at other locations across the UK. Neil Gallacher, Managing Director, said:
“It is logical to assume that charging for waste disposal will become far more prevalent in years to come. As councils are hit by stringent cuts and UK landfill tax is set to rise to £64 per tonne by 2014, those responsible for waste disposal have no choice but to find cost savings. Now is the time to invest in alternative solutions that are more financially sustainable and environmentally friendly.”
LRV is proposing to build a recycling centre and renewable energy plant, which would separate recyclables and gasify clean biomass fuel to create renewable energy, leaving no waste for landfill. Taking in 1.5 million tonnes of mixed waste annually, the project would create approximately 56 MW of green energy for the national grid, enough to power up to 100,000 homes, and reduce carbon emissions by millions of tonnes.
At a time when the Scottish Government is under strict obligations to meet national renewable energy targets and achieve its Zero Waste Plan, projects like LRV’s proposal are of crucial importance.
Discussing the benefits of the project for the local community and Scotland as a whole, Mr Gallacher said:
“Rather than presenting a solution which places the financial burden on individuals to pay to dispose of their rubbish in landfill, our project recognises the huge potential value in waste, both environmentally and financially.
“Our proposed development would recycle waste to produce renewable energy and remanufactured products, at the same time as bringing jobs and investment into the local area. Our site would incorporate a civic amenity, which would be free for the community to use. When councils’ finances are stretched to breaking point, proposals like ours provide a financially viable option for the growing problem of public waste, at no cost to the public purse. Councils ignore solutions like these at their peril.”
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