The government’s National Infrastructure Commission is planning to implement a waste infrastructure study due to the growing debate around waste capacity in the UK.
The NIC, an independent body which provides the government with advice on major long-term infrastructure challenges, identified that the purpose of the study will be to ‘identify the best value infrastructure investment strategy, weighing the costs of separation and different treatment/disposal pathways against the economic, environmental and social benefits’
The growing debate, which formed after a recent report by consultancy, Eumonia, claimed that the UK is heading towards a point where there will be more energy from waste and other residual waste treatment plants than is needed.
Yet the Eumonia’s findings have been argued by national firms such as Biffa and Suez, who have both issued reports suggesting that the UK is likely to have a shortfall in energy from waste capacity till 2030.
Mark Penny, Commercial Manager at J&B recycling said: “I agree with Biffa and Suez in regards to shortfalls in capacity. The focus always seems to be on household waste, which yes is possibly well catered for energy from waste (EfW), however only 14% of waste in the UK comes from households. The remaining 86% is commercial, industrial and construction waste, which is more often than not excluded from EfW plants because of how much it differs in its nature.
“The UK needs to invest in more EfW capacity that is geared towards commercial and industrial waste rather than just household waste. This is only going to happen with serious assistance from the government due to the potential planning permission or financial risk.”
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