The Anonymous Widower

Wiltshire’s Recycled Railway Sleepers A UK First

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

Railway sleepers made of recycled bottles, food packaging and unwanted plastics have been installed on a mainline railway for the first time.

This paragraph describes their durability.

The new railway sleepers are designed to be used for 50 years as they do not split, rot or degrade, and can resist water, oil, chemicals and fungi.

The new sleepers would appear to be an advance on wood and concrete in certain applications.

Conclusion

This seems to be a good example of creative recycling.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

New Facility In Scotland To Turn Waste Plastic Into Hydrogen

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the first paragraph.

Peel NRE, a part of Peel Land & Property, has unveiled its plans for a second waste plastic to hydrogen facility. This one will be installed on the River Clyde’s north bank at the Rothesay Dock in West Dunbartonshire.

A few relevant points from the article.

  • The facility will cost £20 million.
  • Input will be non-recyclable plastics, that otherwise would go to landfill.
  • There will be a hydrogen filling station at the site.
  • The facility can handle 13500 tonnes of plastic per year
  • The facility will use technology developed by the Powerhouse Energy Group.

It sounds like, we need more of these plastic to hydrogen facilities!

 

June 4, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Edmonton Incinerator

Although it is officially known these days as the Edmonton EcoPark, as a North Londoner, I will always know it as the Edmonton Incinerator.

I took these pictures with my drone.

These are a few facts from Wikipedia about the waste-to-energy plant.

  • It was commissioned by the Greater London Council in 1971.
  • It burns waste from the seven North-East London boroughs.
  • It generates 55 MW of electricity.

It certainly dominates the landscape alongside the North Circular Road.

But.

It is probably not amongst the greenest of incinerators.

It is probably very much a design of the 1960s.

It is approaching fifty years old.

But it appears that things could be improving.

  • There is a large composting and recycling facility being built on the site on the site.
  • Plans exist to bring in the rubbish by barge.

This Google Map shows the site.

Note.

  1. The North Circular Road runs across the bottom of the map.
  2. All of the roads obliterated the famous Cooks Ferry Inn, where I saw the Animals play in the 1960s.
  3. The River Lee Navigation runs past the incinerator.
  4. Pymme’s Brook runs on the other side.

It looks from the map, that another reservoir is being built to the East of the canal.

The Guy Who Built The Edmonton Incinerator

I used to work with the guy, who was one of those in charge of the building of the incinerator, who when I met him, was head of the Greater London Council’s Construction Branch, who were using my project management software.

I can’t remember Mr. Samuels first name, even if I ever knew it.

  • He was an Austrian Jew, who had trained as an engineer, who arrived in the UK sometime in the 1930s.
  • He taught himself English in six weeks and got a job at Lucas.
  • At the start of World War II, he volunteered and joined the Royal Engineers.
  • He spent the whole war in bomb disposal.
  • After the war he became an observer at the Nuremberg Trials.

After all he’d been through, he told me, the worst time of his life, was those years in the early seventies when I knew him, as his wife was dying of cancer.

But he taught me a lot about project management and the real horror of war.

He never told me, how many of his relatives survived the Nazis.

What Will Happen To The Edmonton Incinerator?

This year it will be fifty years since the Edmonton Incinerator was commissioned. It must be coming to the end of its life.

I can’t find any plans, but endless groups, who want it closed rather than rebuilt.

This article in the Hackney Gazette, which is entitled Campaigners Urge North London Incinerator Bidders To Pull Out, is typical.

I am very pro recycling, but then others aren’t as these pictures show.

So if some won’t recycle properly, it will all have to go to landfill.

An Odd Tale About Recycling

I applied to be a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of a prison near, where I used to live.

I had a very interesting tour of the prison, where I met several of the inmates.

One thing surprised me.

The prison had a very comprehensive internal recycling system, whereby everything was fully sorted.

One course of training, that was offered to prisoners was how to sort and process all of the rubbish. According to the guy running the course, it was one of the most popular in the prison.

Possibly, because I was told, it prepared prisoners for a job, where there were lots of vacancies.

I wonder if the new £100million recycling centre at Edmonton will use labour trained in the Prison Service?

 

April 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recycling In Islington

I took these pictures by the bus stop round the corner from my house.

It is often as bad as this and it is regularly cleaned up by the street cleaners.

There are people for whatever reason, put their rubbish by the litter and then the foxes sort through it looking for scraps of food.

Someone said on the radio, that it is caused by illegal sub-lets, as these tenants are told not to use the normal rubbish system, as it draws attention.

So their idea of recycling, is to get others to sort it!

March 16, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Turning Waste Plastic Into Hydrogen – Is This The Future?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

This paragraph is a description of the process from Myles Kitcher of Peel L&P Environmental.

At Peel L&P Environmental we’ve been working with PowerHouse Energy who have developed a world first plastic to hydrogen technology. The first plant at Protos, our strategic energy and resource hub in Cheshire, is due to start construction later this year. It will take unrecyclable waste plastic – destined for landfill, or worse export overseas – and use it to create a local source of clean hydrogen to fuel buses, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and cars. Not only will this help reduce air pollution and improve air quality on local roads, it’s helping us deal with the pressing problem of plastic waste.

This sounds like an eminently sensible way of dealing with unrecyclable waste plastic.

July 31, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

My Christmas Wrapping

I don’t use traditional paper, which because of all the glitter goes into landfill.

I use these coloured cotton bags from Clever Baggers, which are very reasonably priced.

I hope most get reused.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Nespresso

Just heard the CEO of Nrdpresso defending his product, where seventy-two percent of the product goes into landfill.

Ridiculous!

My tea-bag goes straight into the food composting bin!

So much more environmentally-friendly!

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , | 3 Comments

Energy Efficient Bricks Made From Human Waste To Help Build London Homes

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Standard.

This is the first two paragraphs.

New homes and factories will be built from bricks made out of the human waste of four million Londoners.

Dried sewage from millions of homes will be transformed into two million heavy-duty breeze blocks a year.

It’s all happening at Beckton.

 

 

 

May 9, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hydrogen Is Really Happening

The title of this post, is the same as that of this opinion in Energy Voice.

It is a good summary of where we are with hydrogen.

One interesting point of several is that researchers in the US and Spain can extract hydrogen from plastic waste.

This article from FuelCellWorks describes the Spanish research.

That would surely be a real zero-carbon fuel!

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Use Rather Than Re-Cycle

I remember in the 1970s or 1980s hearing the Research Director of Pilkington on Radio 4, giving a defence of using glass as packaging.

He argued that one of the problems with glass coffee jars and sauce bottles was that after use and a quick wash, they looked like they could be refilled with new product. In those days, coffee jars were often used for the storage of small items like screws, clips and dry foods like rice and pasta.

Now we’ll buy a designer jars, like these from IKEA.

In those days a lot of milk and beer bottles were returned to the dairy or brewery, but are we going to send empty beer bottles back to some of the exotic places from where they came.

The Research Director argued, that the best thing to do with glass bottles was to smash them up and re-use for other purposes.

One of the uses he discussed was to use broken glass as an aggregate substitute in road construction. This does happen and I’ve read of by-passes being constructed on a bed of broken glass and seen broken glass being used under paving slabs.

Glass came from materials dug out of the ground and it’s going back under.

He also said that to create new bottles was cheaper, than reusing bottles, unless there was a direct link, like milk rounds from a dairy.

This morning on wake Wake Up To Money, they were discussing cutting the use of plastics. So I sent in the following text.

I wonder if black-plastic ready-meal trays could be replaced with a light-weight glass variant. Along with bottles, they would just be washed and crushed after use for aggregate. Several roads have been built on broken bottles.

It was read out.

Consider.

  • We drink a lot of beer that comes in glass bottles.  One of my beer bottles from Marks and Spencer weughs 280 grams.
  • They would be oven-proof, microwave-safe and freezable.
  • You could eat your meal out of the dish!
  • They might save on washing-up time.
  • They could go in the dry-recycling after a quick rinse.

But above all, they may have other uses.

I also suspect that the other pakaging could be similar.

Could a piece of plastic be glued to the tray in the same way?

My idea is probably total rubbish!

But some of Marks and Spencer’s pies already come in just an aluminium tray and a cardboard box.

They need to be cooked in an oven and are not microwavable.

The pie goes down the gullet and the aluminium tray and the cardboard box, go into the dry recycling.

One thing I will be right about, is to say that there are some clever packaging scientists and designers out there, trying to create a freezable ready-meal, that can be cooked in a microwave, that isn’t protected in anything that can’t go direct in the dry recycling.

 

 

 

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment