Element - - Environment -

An in­ter­est­ing one, this. Parex is the seller of Insinker­a­tor in-sink waste dis­posal units (see their provoca­tive ad­ver­tis­ing within these pages), which grind up food waste and send it down the pipes. It ends up at the same place our sewage is dealt with. Be­ing or­ganic mat­ter, it pro­duces meth­ane gas at the plant, which is burned to turn tur­bines and pro­duce elec­tric­ity

which is used to run the plant. So far, so nifty. Waste dis­posal units don’t get a men­tion in the Draft Waste Min­imi­sa­tion Plan, yet ac­cord­ing to Andy Higgs, di­rec­tor of Parex, one third of Auck­land house­holds have one. It is al­ready part of the waste process, but we don't know if the coun­cil would like to see more of it. Prod­ucts such as these have had some bad press, but Rachel

Hughes from Water­care, the coun­cil-owned com­pany that man­ages the fa­cil­i­ties, says that the amount that comes into the plants has a “small, or no, im­pact on the func­tion­ing of the plant”, so much so that Water­care “doesn’t have a view” on the mat­ter. Higgs, mean­while, ar­gues that

his prod­uct rep­re­sents a re­spon­si­ble, cost-ef­fec­tive, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way to dis­pose of food scraps, and

points out it is a sys­tem widely used in­ter­na­tion­ally.

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