Could Covid-19 clinical waste help slash Birmingham’s emissions?

Veolia’s energy recovery facility in Tyseley, Birmingham, will soon use waste from a massive NHS Test and Trace laboratory to produce green energy for the city.

The resource management company has been awarded a contract to provide its services for NHS Test and Trace’s new Rosalind Franklin Laboratory.

Dubbed the UK’s first testing mega lab, the facility is designed to process hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 tests every day during 24/7 operations.

According to Veolia, this type of clinical waste usage in energy recovery facilities can lead to more than 60% reductions in carbon dioxide emissions compared to other conventional energy generation processes.

Veolia also plans to treat waste from the NHS Test and Trace laboratory at its Empire Treatment Plant and Norwood facilities, where it will convert liquid solvents into secondary liquid fuel.

That process aims to produce a blended fuel that is used to replace fossil fuels in the manufacture of cement.

Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer – Treatment at Veolia, said: “Using our specialist teams and modern treatment facilities we can ensure compliant handling and disposal and also gain the advantage of energy recovery to support industry and the grid.”

How could Covid-19 clinical waste help slash Birmingham’s emissions?

Good luck to this entirely sound development. I’m just saddened – might I say bitter – that some 20 years ago one so-called Environment Agency ‘expert’ having national responsibility for all clinical waste activities was allowed to behave as if it was hie personal fiefdom. In consequence, my suggestions for this approach to treatment of clinical wastes was rejected using what can only be considered underhand and probably illegal manipulation of the marketplace in favour of his friends in the commercial world.

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