WRAP commissioned the report, Comparing the cost of alternative waste treatment options, with the aim of increasing price transparency and to enhance the efficiency in which the waste management market operates.
It found that little public information existed on the relative costs of using various waste treatment options.
The reports key findings show that gate fees for similar treatment options can vary substantially both across and within regions. For example, landfill gate fees are higher in Wales and the south of England than in other areas.
Gate fees at material recovery facilities (MRFs) and for landfill are substantially lower than those for incineration. Median costs for MRFs were in the region of £21 to £28 compared to £70 to £80 for incineration costs.
The survey respondents felt that the effect of the landfill tax escalator was to exert upward pressure on gate fees of other competing treatments, especially where there is little competition in an area. However, increasing competition as new facilities come into existence should help mitigate these upward pressures. As competition increases between facilities, there may be greater potential for local authorities to shop around to find the best deal.
There is little data available for some emerging technologies, including anaerobic digestion.
The survey was commissioned in 2007 and analysed both those procuring waste disposal services and service providers. Participants were selected from England, Scotland and Wales.
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