§ Mrs. Renee Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research his Department is undertaking on recycling garbage into domestic fuels; how Great Britain compares with the United States of America in this field; and what contribution recycled waste will make to United Kingdom energy requirements by 1984.
§ Mr. Marks
The Waste Management Advisory Council will very soon publish a report "Energy from Waste" by its waste as fuel working party. The report, which will be placed in the Library, provides a comprehensive survey of schemes undertaken by industry, with assistance from the Government's national anti-waste programme, to use processed domestic waste as fuel in boilers. It also describes the work being undertaken jointly by Government and local authorities to develop mechanical sorting plants for domestic waste which, after recovering certain materials for recycling, will produce waste-derived fuel pellets with half the calorific value of coal for use in industrial boilers. A pilot plant is already operating in Chichester, a full-scale plant will shortly be commissioned in Tyne and Wear, and a more sophisticated plant will come into operation in South Yorkshire later in the year. A similar plant is already operating in the United States of America and others are planned or under construction.483W
If present cost estimates are confirmed, by the early 1980s there should be scope for mechanical sorting up to 20 per cent. of municipal waste per year to produce refined waste-derived fuel equivalent to coal savings of up to 2 million tonnes per year—about £40 million. There would be additional savings from schemes using only partly processed waste.