A long-awaited guide for residents addressing the environmental, economic and health issues related to energy from waste (EfW) faces fresh delays, MRW has learned.
A senior Defra official said in June that the guide would be published before the Parliamentary summer recess but the department has confirmed to MRW it has now been pushed back until “late summer” – nearly a year later than first anticipated.
Defra waste chief Colin Church added that the potentially controversial document would “help stimulate, guide and inform the sometimes quite virulent debate around EfW that you get in local communities”.
The Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011 action plan said the guide would be published by autumn 2011 but industry groups raised concerns about early versions of the guide.
As revealed by MRW in February, industry chiefs slammed early drafts as “unduly negative and weak in supporting EfW”.
The concerns were raised at a Renewable Energy Association (REA) meeting attended by figures from Sita, Chinook and Imperial College London.
Minutes from the REA’s gasification and pyrolysis group meeting, held on 9 January, said: “The rationale for the EfW seems weak. In the guide there is little mention of waste reduction and resource efficiency.
“It seems unduly negative and weak in supporting EfW, there seems to be a defensive position rather than say this is complementary to recycling. There could be a focus on energy potential/base load, resource, and energy diversity.”
A Defra spokesman said: “Consultations with key stakeholders on the guide are currently underway and the final version will be published in the late summer.”