I fully support co-incineration of clinical wastes with domestic refuse in newer waste-to-energy facilities, that is surely the way forward.
Regrettably, it is reported that the Beddington Lane incinerator, which is now mixing clinical waste with domestic refuse in a tipping hall which was overflowing with bin bags, has been accused of breaking further rules intended to protect the environment and the public’s health. It simply isn’t hot enough!
Viridor’s spokesperson has tried to claim that the clinical waste bags had been received “from care homes and children’s nurseries”, according to ENDS. “This material is classed as ‘offensive waste’ and includes nappies and sanitary products,” ENDS reports.
The incinerator, built at a cost of £205million, is operated by Viridor, who receive £40million a year from the South London Waste Partnership to burn the rubbish generated by the boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston. The plant burns at 850 C which is below what is required for disposing of clinical waste. An incineration plant at Slough which handles clinical waste operated at 1,100 C. Though 1,100 degrees is probably unnecessary providing emissions are monitored carefully and are acceptably within safe range, then all really should be OK. The most recent monthly emissions data for Beddington, covering September, shows that the incinerator suffered a number of “mechanical issues” last month.
But wouldn’t you think someone would have bothered to check first?