A new report, backed by 13 cross-party politicians, has advised that using waste for energy resource in the UK is better for the economy and the environment than the current solutions of exporting overseas or going to landfill.
The report “No Time to Waste: Resources, recovery & the road to net-zero” from UK think-tank, Policy Connect, states the UK’s waste footprint has grown steadily since 1990, despite work continuing to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. It outlines the current options for the UK to deal with this growing waste through energy from waste (EfW), landfill or exports.
Several ongoing factors are affecting the exports of waste from the UK. There is uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit on exports to Europe and many export destinations are also closing their doors or limiting waste imports, citing low quality materials and illegal dumping or incinerating practices from a minority of exporters.
MPs say ‘stronger policy signals from government’ could unlock billions of pounds of private investment and UK energy from waste capacity could be increased enough to become the nation’s solution for non-recyclable waste. According to the report, up to half a million homes could be heated using EfW by 2030 if the government works with the waste management industry to dramatically scale up capacity and related infrastructure.
Welcoming the report, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Now more than ever, it is crucial we move from a ‘throw away’ society to one that always looks at waste as a valuable resource. We want to be a world leader in tackling this challenge, which is why we’re transforming our waste system to ensure products are built to last and easier to recycle or repair. We will consider the recommendations in this report as we drive forward our ambitious waste reforms and meet our net zero emissions goals.”
Ed Ewence, Trading Team Leader at Clarity Environmental, said of the findings: “The amount of waste we produce is growing, and without the infrastructure to manage the UK’s 27.5m tonnes of residual waste nationally, it is likely that we will continue to rely heavily on exports for some time, rather than sending waste to landfill. But with exports potentially becoming more challenging, the government has the opportunity to use future policy to support an increase in domestic EfW capacity and invest in the sector, cutting costs as well as carbon by using our waste as a resource.”
Convert waste to energy with Clarity
We are a leading supplier of feedstock to energy from waste plants, helping to divert commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste from landfill and converting it into useable fuel sources. If your business is looking to recover the value of your waste and reduce disposal costs, we can work with you to send it to a UK recovery facility, or export from your premises to overseas.
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