Eco Landuse Systems
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(D26) Biala, J. and Mueller, W. (2002) 'Modelling of bio-mechanical waste treatment as a tool for decision makers'; Paper e20327b CD-Rom Proceedings, Enviro 2002, Melbourne, 8 - 11 April 2002
The bio-mechanical treatment of residual waste offers a versatile solution for the pre-treatment of waste before landfilling with a range of mechanical and biological processing technologies to choose from. In this way it is possible to deliver a spectrum of potential waste management objectives and to accommodate and make best use of many different local and regional conditions.
Depending on the level of technical input, bio-mechanical waste treatment can substantially reduce the amount of waste being landfilled (up to 79 % of residual waste) and comply with EU and National waste reduction and waste recycling/recovery targets. This waste management and resource recovery technology is able to deliver substantial gains on various levels, such as:
The EU Landfill Directive targets that require a gradual reduction of biodegradable materials going to landfill prove less of a hurdle for bio-mechanical waste treatment than do the recovery targets set by the UK Government. This is particularly the case where high-energy components or BMT industrial compost are not segregated and utilised, even though the overall landfill reduction rate may be high.
Therefore, it seems justified that landfill reduction targets are established in addition to the existing recycling and recovery targets and that local authorities / waste facility operators should be given a choice between complying with recovery targets and landfill reduction targets. Other major issues which need to be clarified and resolved relate to the calculation of recycling and recovery rates for bio-mechanical waste treatment, the classification of bio-mechanically treated products and the level of landfill tax payments they attract. These issues need to be resolved as soon as possible in a consultative process between various Government agencies, local authorities and the waste management industry.