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CIWEM calls for growth of home RDF and SRF markets

The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management has urged the development of a domestic market for materials recovered through mechanical biological treatment (MBT).

In a recent policy position statement, the CIWEM argued that MBT can give materials a second chance to be recycled before ending up into landfill and therefore could help in meeting the European Commission’s requirements part of the Landfill Directive.

However, the organisation highlighted that most of the materials recovered in the form of refuse derived fuel (RDF) or solid recovered fuel (SRF) were exported to Europe, so their use in energy generation did not contribute to domestic renewable energy targets.

“Mechanical biological treatment of waste helps recover materials and keep unnecessary waste out of landfills, but more must be done to grow the domestic market for recovered materials,” said the CIWEM.

The CIWEM’s position echoed research published by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) in July.

CIWM said it was concerned over the long-term viability of exports of waste-derived fuels from the British Isles, and CIWM chief executive Steve Lee said: “We believe this is an essential measure to ensure that valuable material resources are not being lost to the domestic reprocessing industry and the UK/Irish economy as a whole.”


Readers' comments (1)

  • From John Glover, MD, Bywaters. In Europe there is much more open market place with energy from waste plants with the Europeans (public and private sector) valuing and develop their relationships with UK firms. In the UK mutual cooperation is not the order of the day and vast sums of money are wasted running materials around the country that could equally well be dealt with locally. Ken Livingstone espoused the “Proximity Principle” and we support this. Several London boroughs are likely to have collection fleets 30% larger than necessary because they don’t use the “Proximity Principle”. 99% of the UK’s “Energy from Waste” plants cannot match the efficiencies of those on the continent because of our long history of a lack of joined up thinking. New plants in the UK should only be given permission in conjunction with a “heat-sink” next door, allowing “Combined Heat & Power” to flourish in a symbiotic relationship. It appears the Dutch, Belgian’s and German’s get this right from the start. Why not the UK? In addition there is no proper encouragement of new technology for “Energy from Waste” and the largest firms only want to build bog-standard plants because they are reliable and proven. However, when new technology does take off the economics are likely to favour new technology plants.

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