Sunday, 14 June 2015

Fifty shades of greenwash !

When you think of a green investment bank you think of err a bank that is green that invests in green energy such as wind, solar and tidal power or innovative waste recycling technology. You don't think of a green bank investing in waste incineration which in many cases sits at the bottom of the waste hierarchy!
that is exactly the case playing out here in Derby UK where the UK Green Investment Bank are funding an ENERGOS waste incineration plant being constructed in an area of poor health in the city and a plant subject to mass objection by local people across not one but two public inquiries. The project is defined as an incineration plant as covered in my previous blog post
Funding to the tune of £64 MILLION has been secured by the developer SHANKS from the UK Green Investment Bank - often referred to as GIB for their project to burn the waste of Derby and Derbyshire.
What was exposed at the 2nd public inquiry into the Sinfin Lane project was that in its standard electricity only mode the plant would fail to meet the requirements of the R1 formula - which is a test of plant efficiency and by failing to meet the R1 standard the plant would be classed as a D10 disposal plant which sits in the disposal section of the waste hierarchy - or to give it its other name - the bottom of the hierarchy. SHANKS the company proposing the plants construction as part of a long term waste deal to dispose of the waste of Derby and Derbyshire have never put forward a customer for the large volume of heat and steam that the plant will generate as a bi-product of its disposal process.
The Green Investment Bank were quick to trumpet their funding proposal in a press release in August 2014 talking of a plant that would recycle 35,000 tonnes of materials and divert 170,000 tonnes from landfill of the 190,000 tonnes the plant will accept yearly. The 35,000 tonnes of materials recycled is at odds with the claimed recycling rate for the plant and must include the bottom ash being used in construction to get anywhere near that claimed by GIB and in relation to landfill diversion a percentage of the tonnage weight will be lost by natural drying processes which could be attained by pre treatment before landfill.
GIB also refer to the remaining waste being used to generate renewable energy in a statement by Shaun Kingsbury who is the chief executive of GIB. The elephant in the room with such a statement is that the GIB's own website defines such energy as coming from biogenic material but in the case of the Sinfin, Derby plant the mixed waste cannot be considered fully biogenic - because it contains plastics and other none biogenic feedstock. That's before we even consider if burning biogenic material is actually renewable! can it be if we have no control in relation to the replacement of such biogenic materials?
Further to this by providing funding for the Derby waste incineration plant GIB are supporting the burning of waste that could be recycled because the councils have signed up to a contract requiring them to procure waste of specific forms including tonnage, calorific, biodegradable and moisture content.
The Green Investment Bank has been challenged on a number of their claims - talk about fifty shades of green !
I await their reply !



  1. Thanks. We wrote to GIB too, still no reply. Odd that. PLus don't forget the £25 million from Derby City Council and £25 million from Derbyshire County Council for an incineration plant which they both admitted to DEFRA that they could not afford and that recycling was cheaper. You could not make it up. GIB can't accept it's a fake renewable, though the contract destroys recycling collections; as well as peoples lives, because of the air pollution
    Derby Friends of the Earth

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