Without a concerted effort by Government and industry to develop an adequate waste management infrastructure, the UK will struggle to achieve EU targets, warns waste management firm SITA UK.
The companys comments follow the publication of position papers on recycling, energy from waste, mechanical biological treatment, composting, landfill, financial provisions for landfills and economic instruments, which highlight the need to develop sufficient treatment capacity.
It believes the UK needs to focus more upon reducing the quantities of waste produced.
SITA UK technical director Dr Gev Eduljee said: The UKs position is simple. Without adequate treatment facilities the UK will miss its targets by a long shot.
Campaigns to encourage householders and businesses to reduce waste had been largely unsuccessful because of a lack of incentive, Government direction and national synergy. An outdated planning system had added to the problem.
Eduljee said: The backlog of planning applications and long-term strategic direction is stalling the development of new facilities.
The papers also recognised that despite all efforts to recover and recycle there will always some waste that needs to be treated and technologies such as energy from waste and landfill still had a place in waste management.
Eduljee added: The implications of the Landfill Directive and the need to achieve EU targets are just starting to take effect and we are now at a stage that if we dont start to build new facilities to deal with solid waste and biodegradable waste that the UK will face huge penalties from Europe.