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Earth Materials




Waste to Energy Process (WEP)

In instances where there is a high proportion of thermosetting plastic, or the waste is highly contaminated such as in the domestic waste stream, the best use of resources may be to burn the plastic waste and using the energy to generate heat and power.

Plastics have a high-energy content, so although they are roughly only 10% of household waste they contain over 30% of the energy content

In modern WTE plants the combustion process is highly controlled and combined with extensive air pollution and ash management systems. This enables the process to comply with government regulations for air, water and solid waste emissions.

Slide 52

The need for a balanced solution

The need for a balanced solution

Plastics are clogging up land-fill sites and incinerating them adds to green-house gases and produces toxic gases: Ban plastic packaging and force supermarkets to revert to paper bags and glass bottles etc

Plastics come from a valuable resource. Most plastic products have their type stamped on them (e.g ABS), get councils to force residents into recycling different types of plastics in different bins.

Plastics are mainly hydrocarbons like fossil fuels. We burn fossil fuels in power stations, so just burn plastics instead, being careful to scrub the fumes. This will save some fossil fuels and generate electricity at the same time.

Investigate the economics: To make 1000 glass bottles from raw materials takes the equivalent of 230kg Oil, making 1000 plastic bottles takes just 100kg.

To make 1000 paper bags takes 47kg Oil, to make 1000 plastic bags takes just 32kg.

Using plastic uses less Oil, doing less damage.

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