CalaChem are currently engaged in a community consultation to share their plans for a £150 million energy to waste plant at their site in Grangemouth.1 The new plant will replace an existing fossil fuel burning combined heat and power plant. As it is just at the consultation stage the level of information isn't as detailed as it will be required at the planning stage and does not include an environmental impact assessment.
CalChem claim the new plant, “will help Scotland meet it’s zero waste targets because we will be burning waste rather than having it go to landfill”.2 Energy to waste is supported in principle by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, SEPA, but burning waste is clearly not the best option within the mix of generating less waste and recycling more. Energy from waste is not a renewable energy as it relies on the flammable fossil fuels within the the RDF to fire up the incinerator to create the heat to generate the electricity. SEPA’s explanation of Energy from waste facilities 2 explain that, like all other combustable plants burning solid or liquid fuels, the incineration process can produce emissions in the form of:
acid gases, particulates, dioxins and heavy metals to air;
Initial response to the proposal from Craig Allan, Co-convener Falkirk Green Party.
“Our initial concern would be the impact this plant could have on recycling and waste minimisation efforts. The proposals for this plant requires 40 lorries of refuse derived fuel (RDF) a day to feed the incinerator. This is a lot of lorries a day across the road from the ASDA distribution centre and, combined with the pollution from an energy to waste plant, would contribute to air pollution within the established Grangemouth Air Quality Management Zone.4 “
2 Falkirk Herald June 18, 2015