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[GreenYes] Re: INFO: landfilling mining begins in US, UK

Title: [GreenYes] Re: INFO: landfilling mining begins in US, UK

I am not surprised to read this.  I have written earlier that a
Professor Alka Zadgaonkar has managed to make cheap fuel out of
plastic waste.

Cambridge Resource Recovery managed to produce plastic lumbar product
which is 10 times harder that natural wood.


On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 5:08 AM, Neil Tangri <neil@no.address> wrote:
> ---
> The Times (London)
> August 12, 2008 Tuesday
> LENGTH: 655 words
> HEADLINE: High plastic prices raise prospect of rubbish mining
> BYLINE: Lewis Smith, Jill Sherman
> The value of second-hand plastic has risen so rapidly that mining
> operations to dig it out of rubbish dumps are forecast to begin within
> the decade.
> Waste suitable for recycling is already being dug out of landfill sites
> in the United States and it is thought that commodity prices are on the
> verge of making it a profitable option in Britain.
> Rubbish dumps are regarded by the recycling industry as an untapped
> source of riches with an estimated 200 million tonnes of plastic buried
> as landfill since the late Eighties. At today's prices of £ 200 a tonne
> the discarded plastic has a value of about £ 40billion and alongside it
> are smaller, but still sigificant, quantities of valuable metals,
> including copper and aluminium.
> Peter Mills, of New Earth Solutions, a specialist in waste treatment and
> recovery technology, said that small-scale operations to retrieve
> discarded plastic from landfill were already being considered in Britain.
> He said: "In the States they have gone back in and have been mining for
> plastic and metal. Within the UK we have an eye on it. Within the next
> decade, landfill mining in a controlled or limited basis is going to be
> viable. It reflects the commodities market and the way prices are going."
> Operations are likely to start as pilot schemes during remedial work on
> landfill sites, which are designed with linings to prevent waste leaking
> into the wider environment. So high have the price of commodities risen
> in the past two years, especially oil, that recycled materials are
> increasingly sought after. Plastics can be turned back into sheeting and
> packaging more cheaply than by using virgin materials and with fewer
> carbon emissions. They also have a high calorific value, so can be an
> attractive source of fuel.
> Mr Mills suggested that the value of plastic would soon rise high enough
> that entrepeneurs would find it worthwhile to scoop out the estimated
> three million tonnes that was swirling around the Pacific Ocean.
> A further benefit of landfill mining is that once material has been
> removed from the ground there will then be room to bury more waste.
> Local authorities face a growing shortage of landfill space.
> Peter Jones, an independent waste consultant, said: "If we dig up all
> the landfill sites in the UK since the late Eighties we could lay our
> hands on around 200 million tonnes of plastics. If we were going to do
> landfill mining we would do it for the plastics."
> He said that most of the 1,500 landfill sites used in the past three
> decades had to be left for 20-30 years once they were closed to give
> time for organic material to decompose and gases to escape - up to 70
> per cent of methane emissions are syphoned off and used to provide
> renewable energy. Because of this, he was convinced that most, if not
> all, landfill mining in Britain would be delayed until after 2020.
> Richard Woosnam, of Orchid Environmental, a waste consultancy, will join
> Mr Jones this year in London at Britain's first landfill mining
> conference, where they will outline its potential. "It has potential for
> the future," Mr Woosnam said. "Plastics are a rich source of energy and
> in the right type of system they can be... a valuable fuel."
> Landfill sites from the Eighties onwards would be the first to be
> considered for mining because there are good records of what is in them,
> including the location of hazardous materials such as asbestos, and
> because before then plastic was discarded in much lower quantities.
> The forecast comes after The Times reported yesterday that the prices of
> recycled materials, including plastic, paper and metal cans, had
> increased greatly over the past six years. What was once considered to
> be mere rubbish is now providing recycling companies with a valuable
> source of income, but many local authorities have missed out on the
> green bonanza because they are locked into disposal contracts that run
> for between 20 and 30 years.
> LOAD-DATE: August 12, 2008
> --
> The Observer (England)
> August 10, 2008
> LENGTH: 1009 words
> HEADLINE: Business & Media: Business: Where there's muck, there's brass.
> And, even better, plastic: With oil prices sky-high and landfill taxes
> rising, businesses and investors are finally starting to realise the
> value of what we throw away, says Zoe Wood
> BYLINE: Zoe Wood
> Modern life is rubbish - it generates about 100 million tonnes of it a
> year - and until recently not many firms wanted to get their hands
> dirty. However, soaring oil prices and landfill tax mean the economic
> benefits of recycling are starting to stack up.
> Recycling has been a money-spinner for Disney's Pixar, whose film Wall E
> features a robot left to clean up a litter-strewn and uninhabitable
> Earth after humans have abandoned it. But the studio has been accused of
> hypocrisy for launching a vast range of merchandise on the back of a
> film with an eco-friendly message.
> Back in the present day, however, 'the value of waste is now being
> realised,' says Peter Mills, commercial director at New Earth Solutions
> (NES), who reports the extreme phenomenon of 'landfill mining' in the
> US. 'People are going back in - in New York they are excavating
> landfill. That's something I've got one eye on here.'
> Mills's company is backed by what is thought to be the first retail fund
> purely focused on investing in UK recycling facilities. Launched last
> month with a target of £ 15m, the fund will provide an investment pot
> for the company, which works with local authorities and claims to be
> able to recycle up to 60 per cent of the waste dumped on UK doorsteps.
> The UK generates around 100 mil lion tonnes of waste a year from
> household, business and industrial users. This week, figures from the
> Office for National Statistics showed the household waste mountain
> decreasing slightly - from 25.8 million tonnes in 2006 to 25.6 million
> tonnes last year - with around 34 per cent of rubbish now recycled. That
> meant the volume of waste sent by councils to landfill also fell
> slightly, to 15.8 million tonnes from 16.9 million tonnes the previous
> year. Environment minister Joan Ruddock described the figures as 'good
> progress' but admitted 'we still have some way to go before we are
> performing at the level of some of our nearest neighbours' on the
> Continent. That is an understate ment. The UK is still considered the
> dustbin of Europe, with only Greece sending more refuse to landfill.
> Phil Conran, recycling development manager at Biffa - a major player in
> waste management along with Veolia and Sita - points out recycling has
> always had to pay its way, because firms are only prepared to collect
> what is cost-efficient to recycle. 'A key factor will be landfill tax
> going up,' he says. 'The key economic factors in recycling are the value
> of the materials recovered and the cost of landfill. Because the latter
> has been so cheap, there has been no financial benefit to the industry.'
> However, Conran says this is changing: 'The cost of oil means the cost
> of producing with virgin materials has gone up. There is now value in
> keeping materials out of landfill, so the economic equation stands up.'
> Landfill tax is currently £ 32 a tonne, but will increase by £ 8 a year
> until 2011. Experts say that, once the gate fees charged at landfill
> sites are added on top, the cost per tonne of waste could approach £ 100
> - a levy comparable to that charged in Germany a decade ago. Germany
> sends around 20 per cent of municipal waste to landfill, compared with
> almost two-thirds in the UK.
> Wrap, the government-funded agency, is keen to attract investors to the
> recycling industry. It estimates the sector is worth about £ 12bn but
> says that could reach £ 30bn within 15 years as UK and EU initiatives
> gather pace. Steve Creed, director of business growth at Wrap, says that
> once oil hit $75 a barrel - it is now around $119 - the cost of using
> recycled plastic was on a par with buying new resin: 'The value of the
> materials has started to have an impact on what people think, when five
> years ago it didn't.'
> Wrap points to success in recycling plastic bottles - with 182,000
> tonnes a year now collected, equal to a third of the bottles used in the
> UK. Part of that success must be linked to the raw material cost, with
> the price of HDPE (high density polyethylene) having doubled to £ 200 a
> tonne.
> Some retailers have complained that the reprocessing part of the
> recycling industry has not kept pace with collection, meaning efforts to
> introduce environment-friendly packaging are wasted. Consumers , too,
> have been disappointed to discover that not all the plastic they
> conscientiously sort into boxes is reincarnated because of the high
> costs of extraction.
> Creed says Wrap is now working on a strategy to address the problem.
> 'New technology is required to extract mixed plastics but it is close to
> being available. The challenge is to encourage investors to look at the
> sector. Waste has been seen as a 'dirty' area and more risky, but the
> market has doubled in size over the past few years.'
> The rising cost of extracting raw materials has also made the industry
> pay more attention to the value of metals locked away in old TV sets and
> computer monitors. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
> Directive aims to stop hazardous electricals such as cathode ray tubes,
> which contain lead, reaching landfill. But David Aitken, managing
> director at GreenWorld Electronics, says consumers and businesses are
> confused about how best to conform - and this ignorance has, according
> to Greenpeace, resulted in toxic waste washing up in scrapyards in
> Ghana, China and India. The campaign group is lobbying manufacturers to
> introduce global recycling schemes that would shoulder the burden of
> recycling old items, a plan Aitken supports: 'When a manufacturer sells
> a piece of equipment there should be an automatic returns policy,' he says.
> However, much of the activity in the sector is geared to tackling
> municipal waste, as this is more closely tied to EU directives - and
> because, as Mills says, 'if you go to a bank with a local authority
> contract, it is as good as a government bond'.
> NES has a £ 50m credit facility with German bank Nord, but Mills says
> the current climate is making it harder for companies with new
> technologies to get cash: 'There is a shortage of money in the system.
> We had an advantage because we agreed our facility before the credit
> crunch hit.'
> LOAD-DATE: August 11, 2008
> >

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