Castle Cement gets all clear on waste fuel

THE ENVIRONMENT Agency has confirmed that Castle Cement can resume burning meat and bone meal (MBM) as a substitute fuel at its Ribblesdale site near Clitheroe, Lancashire.

It follows a six-month trial which took place from April to October 2005. The Environment Agency set a rigorous programme of environmental monitoring during the trial, and reviewed the results to make sure that using MBM in Castle Cement's kilns did not increase the environmental impact of the cement-making process.

Gill Stokes, the Environment Agency's Acting Area Manager, said: "We are satisfied that burning MBM will not increase the environmental impact of the site. MBM is already used as a fuel in cement kilns in many European countries including France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. Burning MBM like this makes good use of a waste that would otherwise have to be disposed of, and also provides a sustainable fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels like coal.

"The strict conditions we have imposed on Castle Cement's use of MBM will protect both the environment and the health of local people."

MBM is produced in animal rendering plants, which process at high temperatures the waste meat and bones from abattoirs and butchers' shops. MBM is the dry, granular substance left at the end of this rendering and is usually sent to landfill.

Using MBM as substitute fuel in cement kilns is one way of reducing pressure on scarce landfill space and cutting down on our consumption of fossil fuels.

Castle Cement will have to keep to strict environmental conditions when burning MBM at Ribblesdale. The Environment Agency has stated that MBM can only be used in the one remaining kiln at Ribblesdale and that MBM can supply no more than 50 per cent of the heat the kiln needs.

Other substitute fuels, such as chipped tyres and Cemfuel, can be used to provide the rest of the required heat along with ordinary fossil fuels.

The kiln must also continue to comply with the Environment Agency's strict emissions limits.

Strict controls in the food industry mean that the MBM that Castle Cement will burn cannot come from animals in which BSE is suspected or confirmed. Neither can it include any unprocessed animal products or any other forms of agricultural, horticultural or industrial waste.

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