So lets show what wastes we are talking about:
|This is where London sends at least 50% of their DOMESTIC wastes|
But most of it is transported out of London! The total bill each year for collecting and redistributing (I cannot use the word recycling as this does little which could truly be considered recycling) is £580m. At the same time they run 10,000 buses on diesel choking up the hard pressed residents. It's utter madness. It smacks of blinkered, too specialised, compartmentalised thinking. We need some generalists who can co-ordinate - to pull together all these strands; and to bang a few heads together.
|A Mountain to "Recycle"|
Luckily Boris Johnson has a plan. And its not too bad; so long as the plan is carried out and not just started as a publicity stunt (as if....). He has begun to listen to what a great deal of people in the UK already know. However all this is put into practice on the Continent already and has been for decades.
In Germany they reckon that they could replace all their natural gas needs from bio-gas, or bio-methane. This would be generated from 'digesters' which would process farming wastes, food industry wastes and sewage works to make gas. In fact they already do a huge amount.
And the best thing is that they generate gas, which they can easily store - unlike electricity. This is a great point worth making. All the detractors regarding renewables always complain about the [assumed] storage problems with all technologies. Well with bio-methane we can store the energy for plenty of things.
|If properly designed sewage can be big exporters of bio methane|
|Food Wastes can make useful bio-methane|
Our' love affair' with waste is institutionally inefficient. Very little of what happens today makes much economic sense. Sending stuff to landfill is not necessarily good. But not capping off the gas generated by this same landfill is [energy wise] criminal. The gas needs to be 'harvested', and ideally injected into the grid. Transporting wastes out of London is pretty stupid too, all that energy expended to move waste around - it's well ...wasteful.
All those crisp clean tanks from my last blog could be dotted all around the less attractive parts of London, to generate gas on the spot, from food wastes from all those eating places. In turn that gas could make electricity, heat or transport fuel.
It just needs vision and a generalist thinker. Like me.