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Dioxins and ash (2)

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I read with interest your article on dioxins in The Architect's Journal (AJ 2/9.8.01) and would ask readers to bear in mind the important contribution that incineration makes to better waste management in relation to the 400 million tonnes of waste generated in England and Wales each year.

Following the European example - of significant increases in both recycling and composting - should ensure that the UK moves away from its untenable present position of sending 90 per cent of municipal waste to landfill. Achieving the environmental objectives in the UK waste strategy and the EU Landfill Directive would not be possible without acknowledging the role of incineration and reuse of incinerator bottom ash (IBA) in an integrated waste-management strategy. The government acknowledges the role of incineration within that strategy, which encompasses all forms of waste management techniques in an appropriate hierarchy.

If, by incineration, we can dispose of waste quickly, generate energy, save fossil fuels, recover metal and produce adequate aggregates rather than quarrying virgin countryside, then it is eminently the most responsible thing to do. Recycling IBA serves the needs of the waste management industry, the environment and the construction industry, and in turn answers the future needs of the consumer and industry.

Finally, previous concerns about the product recycled from IBA have been allayed by recent findings of several leading consultancies. These have undertaken risk assessments of the bottom ash and conclude that there is no elevated risk associated with the product.

David York, managing director Ballast Phoenix

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