How to Deliver a Resource Management Strategy was produced by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) and calls for new infrastructure to reprocess waste into valuable resources.
Ahead of its imminent waste review, the paper also urges more co-operation with local government and the private sector to reduce dependence on landfill and to save the taxpayer money.
The reports author Robert Lisney said: A resource management strategy would, if managed effectively, be more financially beneficial on the public purse than the current waste management system.
Much of what we call waste should instead be considered a resource as it contains materials which can be used again or turned into energy. Our waste report is about getting people to stop thinking of rubbish as a redundant commodity.
He believes the benefits of a resource management approach include energy generation, reduction of carbon emissions, creation of jobs and infrastructure to benefit the economy, as well as compliance with EU waste targets.
In order for the strategy to be implemented, ICE and IME want to see a cross-cutting team of experts set up from across the industry and all levels of government.
It also believes an agent for the strategic delivery of the new system is required to influence land use planning, economic development and finance management.
IME head of energy and climate change Brian Robinson said: This report is all about joined-up thinking. Not just getting what we now all too frequently see as waste to be seen as a valuable resource, but also showing government the benefits of joining up its energy, climate change and waste policies.
Using waste as a source of energy and as a resource for industry helps reduce carbon, reduces costs, contributes to the development of de-centralised, local energy and could go a long way to fill the so-called energy gap.
Over the next two years, engineers are calling on the government to research and deliver the resource strategy; with it possible infrastructure could be in place by 2012.
ICE estimates that London alone will need 50 large scale new waste processing facilities over the next five years at a cost of £2 billion.