In a report to the Irish Cabinet, senior officials of four government departments, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food Safety Authority, recommend the incineration and incorporation into cement of meat and bonemeal – considered a potential source of BSE – from slaughtered Irish cattle.
Curently, meat and bonemeal is mostly sent abroad to countries such as the UK and Germany for incineration or is stored within the country, costing the local taxpayer around E150m in the past 2.5 years to process 550,000t of animal waste. At present, there are 170,000t of meal and bonemeal in storage awaiting disposal abroad, an operation with a pricetag of E34m. The build-up of animal waste began in 2000, when a ban on feeding it to pigs and poultry was introduced.
The report views the disposal of meat and bonemeal in cement kilns as substitute fuel as the most practical option. The resultant ash would then be incorporated into the cement produced. In addition, if used as a peat substitute, peat use would be reduced by 300,000t, effectively cutting the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 250,000t.