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.”