Illegal waste processed at biogas plants, posing a threat to health

Large amounts of illegal waste is being processed in fermentation plants used to generate biogas which could pose a risk to health, according to television current affairs show Reporter.

The Netherlands has some 150 fermentation plants which are used to generate gas based on organic matter which is, in turn, used to create electricity.
But police investigations show many of the plants are used to dispose of illegal waste and documents are being forged to facilitate this, the television show says.
Not only food waste, manure and specially-grown crops but animal waste and chemicals have been found in the plants. This generates large amounts of money for traders.
The police now want extra supervision to stop the illegal waste being processed, which they say could pose a health risk and lead to serious soil pollution.
‘Farmers are in fact the owners of chemicals factories,’ Delft University professor Ben Ale is quoted as saying during the programme. ‘They often don’t know what they are doing.’ He also wants new measures to ensure the biogas plants work safely.

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