The public consolation for a ‘sustainable eco-project of two plants proposed at the Rockcliffe Northwest Recycling Centre – one for tires and one for plastics – was scrutinized by members of the public and Rockcliffe parish council on July 15.
Pyrolysis involves the process of converting waste plastics to fuel oil, instead of being placed in a landfill.
The process is said to yield high octane gas, bio-fuels, and carbon black – a substance used in everyday things from cars to computers.
The proposals include the claims that the waste processing method has great potential for more responsible waste processing; it is ‘autonomous’; there are no ‘CO2 emissions from the purpose, and it ultimately creates a better circular economy.
The potential development looks to expand the use of one 2,033 sq ft warehouse on the Rockcliffe Industrial Estate, the site of a large-scale blaze in November 2021.
Sally Tears, a spokesperson from the Rockcliffe and District Action group, said: “After the horrendous fire last year which lasted for four whole weeks and covered swathes of Carlisle as well as the rural areas, we have no trust in Cumbria County Council or the agencies to monitor the safety of anything let alone three new plants.
“We don’t want to be guinea pigs for the whole of Europe, especially with systems that don’t work efficiently and produce more carbon emissions than they save,” she said.
And Dr. Andrew Rollinson of Loughborough University claimed that pyrolysis as a technology ‘is not the answer.
“It is misrepresentative to describe pyrolysis as being a sustainable energy-from-waste concept,” he said.
“The energy needed to extract the chemicals from the waste is more than the chemicals themselves produce, leaving the system in negative energy equity – a violation of the laws of thermodynamics.
“The advantages are based on freeing useful energy from waste and offsetting the burning of fossil fuels.
“But if system efficiency is low, for example where much of the waste’s energy density is lost in order to stabilize the process, the benefits are undermined.”
Helen Davison, Green Party’s city councilor for Belah and Kingmoor, said: “We’re backing the Rockcliffe residents in their concerns and opposition to the potential development of the plant”.
A planning application will be submitted in the near future with more details on the potential project set to be provided.
Article Source: News and Star
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