A recent visit to the Ardley energy from waste plant by one of your councillors – it’s where our black bin waste is sent – proved interesting. In essence, the plant receives some 300,000 tons of waste that instead of going to landfill is burnt and turned into 27Mw of electricity – enough to power 56,000 homes. Only 5% of the residue is sent to landfill as the ash is used in road building and the metals reclaimed; the only emission is water vapour.
The key takeaway from the plant operator is this: If there’s any doubt over the recyclability of an item, put it into the black bin so that it can be burnt with electricity being created. The wrong item in a green bin could mean that a whole load of recyclables will be rejected at the recycling plant in London. It will then have to be collected and sent at extra cost to Ardley… costing all of us more.