Towering cost of green ambitions
The meat processing industry may find the cost of disposing of animal by-products soar by over 50%, following a new study which calls for tallow to be burned at high temperatures and lower emissions.
The long-awaited report by consultancy firm ECOLAS, which was appointed by the Directorate General to examine the issue of burning tallow as fuel, says that "economics show, over a 20-year period, that it would be better for the member states to become compliant with the Waste Incineration Directive". It will require renderers to convert their conventional boilers at a cost of £250,000 each.
The UK meat industry is to challenge the ECOLAS recommendations, which have been sent to each member state government, with a view for a meeting to be held in two months' time.
In conjunction with the UK Renderers Association (UKRA), it has written to Defra, querying the proposals in the ECOLAS study. "We are still awaiting the Review of Waste Framework Directive, which could take another 18 months, and the review of the Animal By-Products Directive, which we are hoping will reclassify animal by-products as products which have further use as energy," said Alistair Donaldson, executive manager of the Scottish Meat Wholesalers Association.
David Green, chair of the UKRA Technical Committee, said: "At the moment we're focusing on getting the regulators to help get this situation changed in Europe, so we're discussing the report in detail with Defra in order to develop a route forward.
"Overall we would like to maintain the status quo while we await the outcome from the review of the Waste Framework Directive, which we hope will bring some more sense to the use of tallow as a fuel."
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