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Councils anticipate MRF gate fee rise

Two-thirds of local authorities expect MRF gate fees to rise because of the price of recovered materials and the quality of input material.

The prospect is included in WRAP’s annual report on gate fees across the recycling sector.

Its general conclusion is that fees have remained relatively constant for most waste treatment and disposal options, with gate fees at MRFs and energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities differing the most from the last annual assessment.

The median gate fee paid by authorities for MRF services is £6 per tonne in 2015, down from the median of £10 in 2014.

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

A total of 33 local authorities (40% of those surveyed) reported that they either pay no gate fee or receive payment from the MRF for their material.

The majority of councils questioned (65% or 99 local authorities) said they expected MRF gate fees to increase. The expected factors were lower prices for the sale of recovered materials and the quality of input material.

The largest increase in median gate fees was for EfW facilities built before 2000, up to £73 per tonne from £58, although WRAP believes the difference is due to it receiving more responses for such facilities than in the previous survey.  The median EfW gate fee for facilities constructed after 2000 is £99 per tonne, up £5 per tonne on last year.

Marcus Gover

Marcus Gover, WRAP director, left, said that finding a clear picture of UK treatment costs was difficult.

“Our gate fees report highlights how variable charges are for waste management options, and how difficult this market can be to navigate without help.

“In a time when budgets are stretched, and with the backdrop of a more volatile market for secondary materials, our gate fees report remains a key resource authorities can use to help inform local decisions.”

Other fee (median) highlights include:

  • Open air windrow composting for green waste remains at £24 per tonne, unchanged from the previous two surveys
  • In-vessel composting unchanged from the last two surveys, at £46 per tonne.
  • Anaerobic digestion facilities stays at £40 per tonne
  • Waste wood (all grades) at household waste recycling centres up £3 to £35 per tonne
  • Mechanical biological treatment up £4 to £88 per tonne

Readers' comments (1)

  • Interesting; I'm a commercial operator and we pay £65.00 per tonne for wood and £55.00 per tonne for DMR, that's the going rate

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  • The figures quoted are median. The range is £-4 to £90. The ranges are on the WRAP website: follow the link in the article. The full table will be in the magazne this week.

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