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England on course for 14% RDF export growth this year

England is on track for just under three million tonnes of exported refuse-derived fuel (RDF) for 2015, equating to around 14% growth by the end of the year, according to Environment Agency (EA) figures obtained by waste management consultancy Monksleigh.

Monksleigh has analysed data from the EA’s RDF transfrontier shipment information, received under a freedom of information request, to plot the country’s RDF export market growth.

The data, presented in a graph, shows a steep rise in exports since RDF started being shipped abroad since 2011.

But the yearly moving average, indicated by the dotted blue line, suggests that a levelling off may be starting to take place.

Monksleigh data analyst Tom Fyfe told MRW: “It is still growing but it is slowing, which is what most people seem to think is going to happen anyway.

“Like any emerging market, it starts off a little slow then rises then there’s a happy medium.”

Fyfe added that the future growth of the market would rely on whether or not more domestic processing facilities are built. “It will depend on whether it is economically viable to continue exporting,” he said.

The figures are based on exports that have reached their destination on the continent. These facilities notify the EA by issuing a disposal certificate.

Fyfe says the regulator is “rigorously” chasing up about 100,000 tonnes of waste that Monksleigh estimates has not yet been disposed of.

Monksleigh’s information comes from the thousands of records of how much companies have exported each day.

A report from the RDF Export Group in September said 2.6 million tonnes of RDF had been exported from the UK in 2014.

Graph key:

  • The blue line represents the amount disposed each month
  • The orange represents the six-month moving average and the dotted blue line the 12-month moving average
  • The green and red bars show how much more or less was shipped in a month compared with the previous
  • The grey dotted line shows the overall trend in month-on-month difference

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