Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Ministers reveal 'substantial increase' in waste fuel exports

The amount of refuse derived fuel exported from the UK each year increased by more than 270,000 tonnes in three years.

Figures released by ministers reveal the amount of processed solid waste exported for use as fuel abroad rose from zero in 2008 to 272,200 tonnes in 2011.

YearTonnes
20080
20091,330
201017,269
2011272,200

Defra minister Richard Benyon said while data for 2012 was not yet available, estimates show a “substantial increase” in exports from 2011.

In a written response to a Parliamentary question, Benyon said: “The move to divert municipal waste from landfill and increases in landfill tax mean that it can now be more economic for companies to export this material than to send it to landfill.”

He added: “As with other types of waste, refuse derived fuel is a commodity that can legitimately be exported, as long as this is in accordance with the requirements of the EU Waste Shipments Regulation.”

Waste firm Shanks has been lobbying for solid recovered fuel to be reclassified it can be more easily used within the UK rather than exported. Ian Goodfellow, Shanks’ UK managing director, told MRW: “The biggest constraint stopping us from harnessing SRF in the UK is that this fuel is currently classified as waste, not as a product. This classification issue is a roadblock to developing the technology and is stopping the UK from benefiting from a fuel that Europe has utilised for the past 20 years.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Shame about all the NIMBYs in the UK other wise we could be using the RDF in our own powerplants

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.