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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, September 09, 2010

In Government but not in power (?)

From the BBC web site:

Scottish government legislative programme - key details

  • Budget Bill
  • End double jeopardy
  • Scottish Water Bill
  • Long Leases Bill
  • Local Electoral Administration Bill
  • Public Records Bill
  • Health (certification of Death) Bill
  • Forced Marriage Bill
  • Private Rented Housing Bill
  • Reservoir Safety
Wipe me down wwith a damp cloth. I can barely contain my excitement.

Is this what three years of a 'radical' new Government comes to..... Is there such a paucity of ideas that mere administrative trivia become a 'highlight'?

All together now: "What do we want?" - "Legislation on reservoir safety!". "When do we want it?" - "Actually, I don't give a stuff!"


Anonymous said...

£1m high-tech green machine idle for 3 years

Published Date: 12 September 2010

A MILLION-pound machine bought by a Scottish council for a revolutionary recycling centre has lain unused for more than three years because it does not work.

The in-vessel composter (IVC) was bought for Western Isles Council's £10?million Creed Recycling Centre in Stornoway to process 4,000 tonnes of organic waste every year.

But the machine has failed to recycle a single bag of rubbish since it was installed in 2007 because of technical problems with its heating system. Instead, rubbish has been sent straight to landfill.

Officials are now embroiled in a dispute with contractor Earth Tech, now known as Aecom, over the faulty composter, which was manufactured by subcontractor, HotRot Organic Solutions.

Green Party MSP Robin Harper said: "This is seriously bad news for local taxpayers and for Western Isles Council. They have decided to show a bit of vision and to make a real effort to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, and instead it's all still piling up. It's time for the company to sit down with local officials and get this composter up and running as soon as possible."

When the Creed Recycling Centre was built in 2007, it was hailed as a revolutionary investment that would significantly boost recycling figures on Lewis which was, at the time, struggling behind its island counterparts. As well as the IVC, the development included an anaerobic digester - the first commercial scale machine of its kind in the UK.

The IVC enables composting of food waste that has not been properly separated from other rubbish, such as scraps left in a plastic tub. Because the waste could be contaminated with traces of meat or other animal products, it is heated to kill bacteria.

The problem is understood to be in a heating element of the machine, which must, to meet legal health and safety requirements, heat the compost to 60C during the composting process.

Kenny MacLeod, head of waste management at Western Isles Council, said: "Mechanically, the machines have been working very well - but they are not heating the compost to the required temperature, so we cannot use any of it.

"We have used it to process a certain amount of rubbish as it does result in a reduction in weight - but we can't legally use what is produced as compost - it has to go to landfill."

He added: "We are continuing to try to work with the main contractor to come to a solution for this problem."

Made up of four units, the IVC is described on HotRot's website as "very easy and inexpensive to operate".

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan said: "I would like to see the site functioning at its maximum efficiency and I realise the in-vessel composter would help to achieve that. "

A spokesman for Zero Waste Scotland said: "Getting the right infrastructure in the right place is key to delivering our aims for zero waste.

Householders and businesses want to send less to landfill and we work with councils and others to help make this happen."

Earth Tech and HotRot both declined to comment.

Anonymous said...


It may be slightly off-topic but does this mean that I and hundreds/thousands of others have spent the last two years or so carefully separating out organic waste which is then just dumped ? And what about the expensive new refuse vehicles which the council bought for this - with the two compartments ? Have their additional costs been calculated.

Please no-one tell me there's a similar story of shame with recyclable waste.

Anonymous said...

That gets bundled up and set to other places.Heard some of it gets burned in power stations in China, but can't believe thats true.

MadEddieH said...

@Anonymous 6.05
No the stuff you have separated into the organic bin goes through the anaerobic digester, which is used to generate electricity.

This particular machine is used for the stuff from your normal bin, and deals with the food waste that people haven't bothered separating out.

Also the article isn't right as the machine has been being used and is saving the council money - it is just that until the heating bit works right the separated food waste has to go into landfill instead of being able to be sold as compost.