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Gate fee survey will ‘help tackle market volatility’

WRAP has urged local authorities to give information for its latest gate fees report to help identify the cheapest waste management treatment option.

Peter Mitchell, head of economics at WRAP, told MRW the report would tackle market volatility in secondary materials.

WRAP’s gate fee report in July found the average gate fee for non-hazardous landfill had risen from £70 per tonne in 2009-10 to around £100 per tonne.

It also found range of gate fees at MRFs is wider than for other options. While some councils reported receiving as much as £43 per tonne in income for their unsorted materials, others report paying up to £86 per tonne to their MRF.

Mitchell said: “A key finding from the work on gate fees is that, for similar waste management options, they can vary substantially both across and within regions, and for some waste management routes from one year to the next.

“So establishing as clearer picture as possible of alternative treatment costs in the UK is vital, particularly at a time when local authority budgets are stretched, and market prices for secondary materials are volatile.”

WRAP is in the process of contacting local authorities for the next report. It said widespread participate would “ensure that the best quality information can be collected to help all councils make informed decisions”.

Last month consultancy Eunomia argued for a local authority “stability fund” to be set up to combat market volatility for secondary materials.

A number of recycling firms have folded this year as prices tumble across a range of secondary materials, including plastics, textiles, steel and paper.

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