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Gate fees for MRFs more than halve over past year

Some local authorities are now being paid for their recyclables by MRF operators rather than being charged a gate fee, WRAP has found in its annual Gate Fee Report.

Research showed that gate fees for MRFs and anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities have dropped since last year.  MRF gate fees have more than halved, dropping from a median rate of £33 per tonne in 2010, down to £15 per tonne. Interestingly, fees in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are “notably higher” than those in England. AD gate fees have dropped from a median rate of £57 per tonne last year, to £43 per tonne.

However, landfill is not the most expensive disposal option, at £76 per tonne. Instead, the gate fee on mechanical biological treatment plants comes top at £84 per tonne, an increase on last year’s £75 per tonne fee. Some landfill operators commented that they were reducing gate fees to maintain tonnages coming into their sites.

WRAP director of Closed Loop Economy Marcus Gover said: “We have seen a substantial decrease in MRF gate fees since the previous report, with some local authorities telling us that they are now receiving revenues of up to £15 to £20 per tonne for their recovered materials, rather than being charged gate fees. This reflects the additional MRF capacity in the market, and buoyant recovered material prices.

“Another notable change compared with last year’s report is that the median gate fee for AD has dropped considerably - by around £13 per tonne. Indeed, several operators questioned indicated that they felt that AD gate fees might fall further. However, as the AD industry is still relatively young this finding is based on quite a small sample and so does need to be treated with some caution.”

Gate Fees for 2010 and 2011

TreatmentGrade/material/type of facility2011 Median2011 Range2010 Median2010 Range
MRFAll£15-£36 to £85£33-£5 to £42
OrganicsOpen-air windrow£24£6 to £51£24£11 to £51
 In-vessel, food and garden waste£43£29 to £82£45£26 to £104
 AD£43£36 to 64£57£50 to £90
LandfillGate fee£20£12 to £55£22£11 to £44
 Gatefee plus Landfill Tax£76£68 to £111£70£59 to £92
EfWPost 2000 facilities£73£54 to 97n/a£85 to £120
MBT £84£57 to £100£75n/a

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