A senior figure in the waste management sector has called on local authorities and commercial waste producers to work together more closely.
Covanta Energy managing director Malcolm Chilton, left, argues a more pragmatic and joined up approach to waste management would save millions in development and operational costs and also contribute to unlocking inward investment.
Chilton says the commercial and industrial (C&I) waste sector, which is not subject to European waste targets regulations, still sends too much waste to landfill.
“UK local authorities and commercial organisations have made all the easy wins when it comes to diverting waste from landfill. It’s clear that in the current economic climate, individual organisations will struggle to jump these hurdles alone. And there is no need for them to do so.
“An all-wastes approach can reduce the cost of sustainable waste management by millions, while significantly enhancing environmental performance” he added.
He said that Government energy policy had identified energy-from-waste (EfW) as one of a handful of technologies that are critical to delivering energy security and low carbon objectives.
“If we are to deliver the full potential of EfW, we need to exploit resources beyond the household sector that has been the focus of attention for so long, especially the energy value of residual C&I and some construction and demolition waste streams.
“Tapping into C&I waste alongside their own residual waste, local authorities can foster the development of highly cost effective and energy efficient new facilities. Putting in place EfW facilities that treat local authority waste but also have the capacity to source and treat commercial, industrial and construction waste moves the financial burden away from the authority, while increasing the overall contribution to energy policy objectives.”