Concerns grow concerning lack of EfW capacity and Dutch RDF import tax

Local authority waste management officers have raised concerns about the lack of sufficient energy from waste capacity in the UK.

The concerns come in the wake of Dutch Parliament plans to levy a 32 Euros per tonne tax on municipal waste sent by local authorities to the Netherlands from 1 January 2020 (see story).

The officers are members of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) and they note that the UK lacks sufficient energy from waste capacity for municipal waste.

However, a number of the authorities now concerned about future RDF costs – such as West Sussex – have actually been against construction of energy from waste plants within their boundaries in the past, preferring to send waste for energy recovery outside of their own area.

In a newly-published statement and policy paper, the council officers urge Dutch MPs not to support the idea of a tax, “because it would limit or stop export of the waste in the form of Refuse Derived Fuel from the UK”.

They say: “Our concern is for the following reasons: Any such move would immediately limit or preclude further export of material from our members. The UK lacks sufficient Energy from Waste (EfW) infrastructure to recover energy from all municipal waste generated meaning that in the short and medium term the default option would be landfill.” Other reasons given by ADEPT include the fact that landfill will cost more than RDF.

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