Drive through Dumbar

No doubt there were loud cheers when McBurgher’s announced their intention to locate a new drive-through just down the road. And what better place to locate it? Although Dumbar isn’t quite the Drive Thru Town it used to be, more Drive Past, it is now officially a Take-Away and Throw-Away Town with a critical mass of cheap eateries and woeful food business recycling rates. Anyway some say this is exactly what the locality was missing – another take-away joint. As every schoolgirl knows easy access to fast food encourages better health, slimmer waist-lines (no pun intended), a better quality tourism, higher levels of inward investment and is a key motivator for homebuyers. Except none of this is true. I am reliably informed that a new home in Tranent will fetch a premium price, while in Dumbar it goes for below the average. Location isn’t everything, or maybe it is?

Anyway now two brand new hills will grace the skyline and form an inviting gateway to our very own “out of town” shopping experience.


This part of the Garden County already has the snaking curves of a cement factory – Scotland’s biggest carbon emitter and whose plume never seems to rest. That angular lump of metal that cuts the skyline not so far away – our very own cracked nuclear reactor.  I find both interesting – kind of – as they are  aesthetically of their time.

Then there’s that other mountain – an artificial waste one (most waste is mounded these days to control effluents). Though that one won’t grow so much any more as it seems that with rising costs our friends at #viridor are going to stop the mounding (good) and start the burning (hmmm) of all that low quality residual household waste that Scotland has not already diligently recycled. Leave aside the growing evidence of overcapacity in EfW plants once they all start operating and that this could even limit UK recycling rates. Never mind the circular economy and all that.

It remains a bit of a mystery – to me at least – what will happen to the mountain of low grade waste heat that will be created. Some serious industrial ecology is clearly required to replace the circular thinking, as more homes could be heated than you can even count in this part of the world. Methinks a dirty great big glasshouse to grow endives, frisee and radicchio for bien pensants like me would be nice. Who knows if there’s already a secret scheme to create a massive district heated new town? What would we call it? New Hampshire?

Incinerator could power 39,000 homes

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passionate about the new and the old, but only if it is any good