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Tallow: commonsense may prevail

by 5m Editor
28 September 2006, at 10:22am

UK - It is beginning to look as if British renderers will be able to continue burning tallow as a fuel after all. The health directorate in Brussels is expected to rule that it CAN be used as a fuel as long as the renderers follow environmental safety rules laid down in 2000.

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National Pig Association
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Last year Defra said the burning of tallow as fuel was illegal. The renderers claimed this would increase rendering costs by up to £25 a tonne, which would have a knock-on effect among pig producers.

It considered Defra’s ruling to be perverse and urged it, at the beginning of last year, to take the issue to Brussels, but at the time Defra’s waste management division claimed such an approach would be futile.

Why it should have thought this is not clear, as Brussels has all along signalled that to incinerate tallow when it could be burned as a fuel defies commonsense. The Commission stressed last autumn that it favoured all uses of waste that could contribute to sustainable development.

Observers will be aware that Britain has displayed a rare talent for absurdity when it comes to implementing European waste legislation. First, the Environment Agency wanted to brand all co-products as ‘waste’ – until Defra stepped in, following representation by National Pig Association. Then the agency said all organic manures are ‘waste’. It took a decision by the European Court of Justice to resolve the issue.

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5m Editor