Recycling alone will not do

Even if we would recycle everything that can be recycled in the UK – and the same is probably true also for elsewhere – there would still simply too much waste. Something must be done with that.

There is only one answer to this problem; we simply MUST reduce our waste; the waste that we produce in households, in industry and especially the packaging waste and I am not only referring here to the plastic carrier bags.

The problem is that, probably even then, after the step above, there will still be some stuff left that needs to be disposed off. In an ideal world, maybe, that would not be the case but...

...we do not live in an ideal world and won't be, I am sure, for some time to come.

Therefore the non-recyclable waste must be used to produce energy, whether this is by means of incineration in waste-fuelled electricity power plants – no NIMBYS please – or by anaerobic digestion and the use of the resultant methane gas for the generation of electricity, or as gas for heating and cooking, does not matter. What matters is that holes in the ground are no longer an option.

Other countries can do it and are doing it rather well. However, when this even gets as much as suggested in Britain firstly everyone – especially the likes of those that claim that they are all for the environment – gets up in arms against such incinerating electricity generators and we are also being told that it cannot be in Britain as, apparently, Britain is different to Germany, Holland or Sweden. Then again we are also told that Britain is different when it comes to, say, micro-generation of electricity and selling of possible surplus from such activities back to the national electricity grid, but then, that is rather another story.

Regarding waste we have only one major option and that, aside from recycling, is reducing the waste that we produce. We must look at recycling maybe also in a different light, e.g. Not so much to the large commercial operation but in fact looking at the craftsman or -woman who has ideas of how to turn waste into reusable items. This, however, also requires a different approach by banks and grant-giving bodies. I guess this is, however, again something that could not possibly be done in the UK.

Food for thought, I hope... let's go and make a change.

© M V Smith, November 2007