As the Environment Agency is currently reviewing the Substitute Fuels Protocol (SFP) incinerator group Cleanaway has criticised the burning of waste in cement kilns, claiming it could lower environmental standards.
The SFP guides the approvals of energy recovery in cement and lime kilns by burning wastes such as contaminated oils, sewage sludge, explosives, animal products, chemicals and CFC gases. Cleanaway said the reviewed protocol could allow cement companies to burn hazardous wastes without public consultations or environmental impact assessments that specialist hazardous waste incinerators require.
But the UK cement industry struck back accusing the company of running a “campaign of misinformation” relating to the use of substitute fuels in cement kilns. Mike Gilbert of the British Cement Association commented that the cement industry could provide significant “safe and clean” capacity through its 15 plants to tackle the shortfall of treatment facilities, aggravated by the ban on diluting hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste for landfill disposal, effective from July 2004. The association also said that environmental impacts would “remain the key determining factor in whether or not a works is given permission to use a new fuel.” Moreover, its public engagement would also go “beyond that required by statute”.