Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury
Waste is not a very interesting subject but with so much of it produced by our present day society, what we do with our waste is vital for the survival of our planet.
Many countries in the European Union prefer to convert their waste into energy by burning it. There are 420 plants in Europe that are equipped to provide heat and electricity to over 20 million people.
Because our society produces so much rubbish, our landfill has almost reached capacity and councils have had to try to find alternative ways of dealing with it. Ancient civilisations, such as the Egyptians, used to burn rubbish from a health point of view but only fairly recently have we been able to burn rubbish to produce energy.
Some towns in the UK, which have run out of landfill, have been exporting their waste to countries such as Norway and in some towns it is cheaper to export rubbish than to pay landfill taxes. Landfill taxes are in place to discourage the production of waste to landfill and to encourage recycling as much as possible.
Environmental groups are concerned that burning rubbish will discourage recycling. Friends of the Earth estimate that 80% of our rubbish is easily recyclable but if we come to believe that burning rubbish to produce energy is acceptable, we will throw things away rather than recycle them.
Waste has become a global industry with many people around the world relying on our waste to make a living.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.