Wednesday, 12 January 2011

New Cardiff Waste Plan

Cardiff Council Ex Business Meeting 13th Jan 2911 
This Waste Plan shows how badly Cardiff has performed, principally because of bad past choices.
Past Mistakes
Lamby Way landfill was used up rapidly, charging relatively little for commercial waste – now that income has ceased and the landfill will be filled up by 2012 with no replacement planned by the Council. This leads to costs of an extra £5 million pa (half comes in 2012, further half in 2013).

Foodwaste and greenwaste collection will be separated under the new Plan, and different treatments given (AD for foodwaste; composting for greenwaste). Setting up combined collection was a big and costly mistake, requiring sending to Derby at £500/tonne (now switched to Gloucestershire but still high cost). Seasonal changes in green-waste make difficulties for in-vessel AD and the combination was a mistake from the outset.

Business and financial projections
The income from recycling is at a low 15.5% of expenditure and hardly rises to only 16.5% by 2015/16. This is unexplained. Is it due to low quality material from the MIRV and can nothing be done over this problem?

No comparison is given against a high recycling and sorting strategy with MBT stabilisation or RDF production. The comparison with Business As Usual (Graph 1.0) hides the higher P.Gwyrdd costs within 'saved' LAS penalties. Any sensible strategy meeting WAG's policy on foodwaste and recycling targets will avoid those penalties. So the officers offer no real alternative comparison.

What is Cardiff's fall-back option if P Gwyrdd collapses, like similar mega-incineration projects in England, because capital funding is limited and expensive? P. Gwyrdd expected public funding before the credit crunch, via the European EIB and prudential borrowing, but these look unlikely.

Two huge risks ignored in P Gwyrdd assessment, risks that
# incinerator ash will be classed as 'hazardous waste', with high costs of treatment or disposal
# penalties will be attached to the huge amounts of CO2 emitted by incinerators.
At present, government uses a 'shadow cost' of CO2 around £30/tonne, which would translate to £36/tonne of waste, but Cardiff ignores this – and runs the 'risk' of this carbon-levy in the future.

Cardiff's failure to have a 'Plan B' shows either irresponsibility or blinkered officials who leave the Council no option other than their incineration project – which could cost Cardiff's taxpayers dear.

Laughable - Cardiff's Claim to rank among Sustainable Cities
consider the Plan's Headline Policies and Objectives
# Towards Zero Growth in waste. While waste is decreasing by 2-3% per year on the average in England and Wales, Cardiff's is still growing - and they aim only to stop the growth is the 2020s!
# 'High' Recycling. While towns and provinces in Europe, New Zealand, USA, etc. are already reaching or surpassing 70% recycling, Cardiff proposes to put off 70% till 2025 (or be on the way to 70% by 2020 in Leader Berman's “vision”)
# Sustainable Management: much reduced carbon emissions. Viridor's incinerator will emit huge amounts of CO2, far more than the methane equivalent from Lamby Way.
(The officers use WRATE's false accounting – below - to pretend otherwise).

False Carbon Accounting
It's common in the UK to ignore the bio-fraction of the CO2. But they should take into account the decreasing bio-material in municipal waste in future years, when electricity-only incinerators give 30% more fossil CO2 than the worst coal-fired plant. This means that switching from coal-power to Viridor-incinerator power worsens Cardiff's carbon footprint.
Further, the electricity industry will emit diminishing amounts of CO2 this decade and in the 2020s. Already by 2016/7 it would be one quarter of the Viridor incinerator's

No comments:

Post a Comment