Way back when, Wednesdays

Waste to wattage

Imagine if you didn’t cringe every time your power bill arrived. And if the contents of your bin was the solution to cheap and affordable electricity! Is this science fiction? One far sighted resident of Ridgehaven wrote to the Tea Tree Gully and Campbelltown councils because he believed that converting rubbish into electricity was not only possible but cost effective.  Mr. J. Sagen’s futuristic plan to burn general refuse in specially designed furnaces at Torrens Island power station, made front page news in the the Leader Messenger on 23 January, 1974.

waste power

Forty-three years later, on 1 March 2017 the Eastern Courier Messenger http://www.adelaidenow.com.au reported on the proposed construction of a $300 million plant in South Australia, where household rubbish would be converted to electricity. Recycling company Integrated Waste Service approached six of Adelaide’s councils, including Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, Unley and Burnside with a view to  purchasing their rubbish. This new incentive could lead to an alternative, reliable energy option for our state.

Peter Dyson, the managing director of the Kwinana Waste to Energy plant, which will begin operating in Perth in 2020, stated that one wheelie bin of rubbish could produce up to 20 per cent of a household’s weekly power needs.

480 plants across Europe generate electricity by burning combustible, non-recyclable residential and industrial waste. The most common way of generating electricity from rubbish is by burning solid waste, which would normally go to landfill. Garbage is incinerated, transforming chemical energy into thermal energy at temperatures of up to 1093 Celsius. The heat then makes steam, which drives a turbine and produces electricity that feeds into the grid. Waste conversion facilities must meet strict guidelines, in order to filter emissions and capture pollutants such as dioxin, from being released into the air. Harmful methane gas is produced when waste decays which contributes to global warming. It can also be used as fuel.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

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What are they up to in the Library?

If you come in to the Library over the next couple of days, you will notice some work being done near the Quick Picks wall and that the shelving that used to be there has been temporarily moved next to the Reference Collection.

This is to allow the installation of a Voltage Optimisation Device in the main electrical distribution board of the Civic Centre, which happens to be in the Library!
This energy saving initiative is designed to smooth out the peaks and troughs of our electricity supply and prevent spiking of the supply, thus reducing our demand on electricity and saving money.
All good things to do!

After completion of the work this week, the switch to the new system will take place on Sunday 16th October and we don’t anticipate any disruption to our service on that day.
We’ll be putting the Non Fiction paperback shelves back and also rearranging the Quick Picks display.