HC Deb 27 June 1996 vol 280 c219W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the average calorific value of domestic waste per cubic metre and the subsequent average reduction in this estimated value after the removal of recyclable components; and if he will make a statement. [34344]

Mr. Clappison

The composition and density of household waste varies significantly between households, and so it is not possible to give a meaningful average calorific value of domestic waste per cubic metre. Typical calorific values fall in the range of 9.5 to 11 megajoules per kilogram.

A summary report1 of research carried out by AEA Technology entitled "The Impact of Recycling Household Waste on Downstream Energy Recovery Systems", which was published in June 1995, concluded that all of the various source separation options for recyclable materials which were considered increased—rather than decreased—the calorific value in megajoules per kilogram of the waste feedstock. However, they also reduced in total the amount of energy that might be recovered from a given amount of waste. The report therefore concluded that the introduction of source separation schemes for recycling household waste does not prejudice energy recovery from the residual waste. 1 Available from the Renewable Energies Bureau, ETSU, Harwell, Didcot, Oxfordshire 0X11 ORA, Tel 01235 432450, reference number B/RR/00286/REP.

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