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How to save half an hour of the world's carbon emissions

Posted on | By Thornton Kay
1509230855-Old-kitchen-tiles-behind-the-clothes-photo-Salvo-1.jpg 1509230855-The-old-kitchen-tiles-photo-Salvo-2.jpg 1509230855-The-finished-corridor-wardrobe-photo-Salvo-3.jpg 1509230855-Impacts-of-leaving-unwanted-tiles-in-situ-4.jpg
London West, UK - Some unwanted ceramic tiles were not removed and sent to landfill, saving a small amount of energy, when a flat in London was refurbished for a young London eco-warrior with a large wardrobe. If everyone in Europe and North America did the same when doing up their homes they would save around thirty minutes of the world's carbon dioxide emissions (35,947mt in 2014).

The incongruous slightly odd-shaped patches of white tiles nestling among clothes hung between reclaimed pine wardrobe dividers have been accepted as part of the flat's past life.

Some of the unwanted tiles were removed and carefully cleaned for reuse by ecorefurbishers Ecovril matching the old when the bathroom was altered.

Around twenty per cent of the world's emissions are used in making new construction materials. More is being demolished and less is being saved for reuse (we think) than ever before. It is certain that the planet cannot sustain this amount of profligacy. And this flat's new owner was no different to most others in wanting to change the (old and tired) kitchen around.

The message is to consider either reusing old materials in the new scheme, or simply not removing them and not sending them to landfill. If you notice planning permissions being applied for which will involve demolition or dismantling read the link below about requesting planning officers to encourage reuse and to require owners and their contractors to abide by the 2011 Waste Regulations which mandate saving old materials if possible.

SalvoNEWS will be featuring more carbon emission stories from this London flat refurbishment over the coming weeks.

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Table explanation:
Row 65PR: One London flat-owner (at 65PR) left 29kg of white ceramic tiles in-situ thereby saving the fossil fuel transport energy of 64gCO2 moving them to landfill (assuming as part of a 8cuyd skip load transported 15km). Fossil fuel crushing energy of 0.000139 kWh was also avoided. The tiles (ICE 9MJ/kg) were therefore available for possible future reuse saving the 22.62kgCO2e avoided impacts of manufacturing new ones.
Row London: Each year 330,000 property owners could replicate 65PR. Assumption was made that 3.3m London homes had their kitchens or bathrooms changed once in 10 years. This would save 9,570t and 21,102tCO2 energy to landfill and 7mWh to crush the unwanted tiles.
Row UK: Each year 2.6m UK property owners could replicate 65PR. Assumption was made that 26m UK homes had their kitchens or bathrooms changed once in 10 years. This would save 75,400t and 166,257tCO2 energy to landfill and 58mWh to crush the unwanted tiles.
The UK's annual carbon emissions are 403,797,000tCO2 (DECC 2014) which is 46,095tCO2 per hour, which means that the total emissions avoided by not landfilling or crushing is 3.6hrs of the total of UK CO2 emissions.
Row Europe and North America's total annual emissions are 9,795,000,000tCO2 (UN 2014) which gives a total of 1.7hrs of the annual emissions saved if everyone in Europe and north America removing a kitchen saved some of the unwanted wall tiles insitu, or around half an hour of the world's total emissions of 35,947,650,000tCO2 (UN 2014).

Ecovril Ltd Salvo Directory 02 Jul 2011

Campaign for planning conditions to save demolition materials News 09 Mar 2017


Story Type: Reference