Category Archives: Recycling

Reversing Global Warming for Profit

The summary of a new, detailed EU study is;

“Substantial health gains can be achieved from taking action to prevent climate change, independent of any future reductions in damages due to climate change. Some countries, such as China and India, could justify stringent mitigation efforts just by including health co-benefits in the analysis. Our results also suggest that the statement in the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1·5°C could make economic sense in some scenarios and countries if health co-benefits are taken into account.”

What this means is that we will all be healthier and spend less on health if we sort out global warming – starting right now.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd  9th December 18

And, published in 2009 by MX Publishing;

Compost, Trump and Concrete

A fundamental component of reversing climate change is to recycle a wide range of urban wastes to farm land,

 

Less concrete, more compost, less mineral fertiliser

A serious problem with populist utterances (of which Donald Trump is the best example, maybe ever) is that they tend to over-simplify answers to complex problems.  I refer specifically to climate change. What Trump does is appeal to the masses about protection of jobs and, in the short run, he may have a point, especially if he chooses to ignore the jobs being created in renewable energy. (In the USA, there are now more jobs in solar than in coal production.)  If Mr Trump and others want a quick fix for climate change, recycling waste to farm and forestry land and locking up the Carbon as organic matter would be a good start. If the UK Environment Agency could also revert to previous regulation on composting which would allow a farm to start composting without spending £ hundreds of thousands on concrete, that would help the environment, too. (Concrete takes a lot of energy to manufacture and put in place and with good practice, concrete is not actually necessary for large scale composting.  However, it will allow faster work with heavier equipment and a wider range of input materials.)

For more on “Only farmers can do this”, see “Survival”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 5th December 2018

Reversing global warming IS possible

Yes, the technology is understood to recycle more to land – safely.

In a paper cited by the World Resources Institute, a large number of prominent scientists estimate that by managing the world’s land more sustainably, such as by protecting forests and investing in reforestation, we could achieve up to 37 percent of emissions reductions necessary to limit the global rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by 2030.  We could go even further by recycling urban wastes to that land through composting.

Bill Butterworth,  Land Research Ltd  20 October ‘18

Recycling contraceptive “pill” and hospital wastes

Residues of drugs, hormones,antibiotics and disease organisms do get right through the sewage treatment systems into our rivers and land.

 

We have known for over 30 years that, when women take the contraceptive “pill”, they urinate out the residues which do get through the sewage treatment system and end up in the rivers where, in one research study, male sticklebacks (a small fish) produced eggs.

It is relevant to note that much (maybe most or even all) sewage from hospitals is, quite legally (but questionably safely) put directly into the public sewer system and treated, along with general urban sewage, in conventional public sewage treatment works (STW’s) with the products released to water courses (some of which are later, down-river, extracted for human consumption) and farm fields. That sewage will certainly involve the technical issues involving drug and antibiotic residues, and significant pathogen levels.

I will, over the next couple of years, be looking at recycling hospital wastes, safely.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 17 October 2018

Devizes Primary Schools

Well done Devizes primary schools! Children being constructive about recycling plastic waste.

Devizes primary schools put these models made from plastic waste on a roundabout in the center f town,

These constructions made from waste plastic have been on display on a roundabout in the center of Devizes in Wiltshire for several weeks.  They have been seen by thousands.  Well done children, teachers and the local authority..

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 23 August 18

drought and crop yields

A lot of this, this year. Yields down too. It is largely avoidable.

A sandy soil will hold about its own weight in water.  A clay 2 or 3 times. A typical natural peat around 16 times!

A compost made from urban green waste will hold up to 10 times its own weight in water, maybe only 5 times if it is made from woody cuttings in winter (and it would have less N).  However, compost made from urban green waste plus industrial wastes will (depending on the wastes used) hold 8 to 14 times its own weight in water and possibly a lot more NPK.  Although the Environment Agency will restrict quantities, the truth is that the Fens, when Vermuyden drained them some 300 years ago, were up to 40 foot deep of almost pure compost. (Organic soils do not leak excessive N.)  It is also true that high organic, well-composted soils, can halve cultivation energy inputs and reduce chemical spraying.

So, there really should be a national policy of maximizing urban waste recycling to urban farm land. Suggest get a copy of “Survival”, read it and send a copy to your MP.

 

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 1 August 18

Cultivation destroys organic Nitrogen

“Recreational tillage” soothes the soul but it really does dramatically increase organic mater oxidation and loss. Forcing a tilth with a power harrow is the worst offender.

The problem with forcing a tilth with power harrows, or any other cultivation tools, is that organic matter is oxidised at a rate corresponding to power input. This was first shown by Sarah Wright working at the famous USDA research centre at Beltsville in the USA. It was reinforced by research I did for ICI Plant Protection back in the 70’s and early 80’s; then, a fair guide in most soils was that conventional, high-power-input cultivations would oxidise and lose around 35 % of the humus per annum but direct drilling would limit the losses to around 10%.

There are two results of this loss which are, amongst others, worthy of note in this context.  Firstly, the more organic matter is lost, the greater the cultivation power needed next time around, leading to a declining soil structure, demanding progressively more power in a downward spiral.  Secondly, N losses progressively rise in parallel.  Further, as organic matter level falls, so does water-retaining capability.  This, in turn, allows more soluble N to be leached out.

What Michal Gove needs to do it look at the energy we could save by recycling more to land, using science-based process to encourage it, rather than allowing regulation to progressively restrict it.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd.,12  June 2018