Incineration best way to remove plastics

Barbara Masters

Friday, 15th February 2019, 05:54 am
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 05:57 am

Sheffield, S11

I’m surprised by the recent spate of letters written by Green Party activists on the issue of bins in Sheffield.

Many residents have already taken issue with the roll-out of the brown bins, especially the inability to recycle as many plastics.

The Labour-controlled council missed a huge opportunity to improve recycling in the city when it renegotiated the contract with Veolia in 2017. This has angered a number of people including Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, the leader of the Lib Dems in the council, who has been criticised by the Greens.

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In fact, the Lib Dems have been actively campaigning to improve recycling here for at least two decades. Green activists deplore waste incineration. They have chosen not to remember that at the time the contract with Onyx was signed, the Lib Dems had just taken control of the council and were faced with the prospect of either upgrading the incinerator to bring down the emissions to safe levels, or closing it and sending all the waste to landfill.

Greens opposed the incinerator and if they had had their way, 18 years down the line huge tracts of land would be full of rubbish. The sites would be full of plastics that were not decomposing and rotting waste would be producing huge amounts of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. The city would also be paying out considerable sums in landfill tax.

Is this what the Greens wanted? If not, what solution would have been acceptable to them at that time? Exporting the waste elsewhere?

The Greens are not the only ones who want to protect our environment.

We need measures that allow all of us to do this effectively.

At present, incineration with heat recovery is the best way to remove plastics which can no longer be recycled, from the environment.