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Burning review fuels fight

By Rebecca Thyer

The British Cement Association (BCA) has accused Cleanaway of a scaremongering campaign over the use of substitute fuels including hazardous waste in cement kilns.

Cleanaway believes that Environment Agency (EA) proposals could lower standards for burning hazardous wastes. However the BCA said that the waste management company had initiated a scaremongering campaign based on misinformation.

An EA consultation on revisions to the Substitute Fuels Protocol for use in cement kilns ends on June 18. It follows a review on using wastes as substitute fuels and the EA is satisfied that their use has had no net detriment to the environment when compared with conventional fuels.

Proposed changes will reduce regulatory barriers to waste recovery, divert waste from landfill and move some wastes up the hierarchy.

However Cleanaway regulatory affairs director Gill Weeks said: There is no need to take the risk of lowering environmental standards by allowing cement kilns to burn more hazardous wastes. We are not in any way trying to scaremonger, we are genuinely concerned about lowering standards.

But the cement industry has hit back at Cleanaways assertions. BCA chief executive Mike Gilbert said: Rather than incinerating such materials, a cement kiln moves them up the waste hierarchy by recovering energy and saving fossil fuels.

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