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MPs told: "There is enough infrastructure to meet 2010 targets"

Confidence that there is enough infrastructure in place to meet our 2010 EU Landfill Directive target was expressed to Ministers last week by Environment Minister Joan Ruddock. Her comments came in a response to questions from Minister Anne McIntosh and on the same day that the Planning Bill received its second reading. Ruddock continued: current estimates suggest that we still require an increase in diversion capacity to allow us to meet the 2013 and 2020 targets. She explained that increased infrastructure will enable increases in recycling, composting and therefore diversion from landfill. While she said that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had not made a specific estimate of waste facilities needed to hit target, she said that the Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme (WIDP) maintains a national overview of existing and planned treatment capacity. The number of facilities required will depend on the nature of waste delivery authority procurements, the technology selected and the size of individual plants, she explained. We are currently aware of 81 plants across England scheduled to become operational from 2008 onwards. These will potentially provide the capacity to treat an extra 10.3 million tonnes of municipal waste. With the ongoing engagement WIDP is undertaking with authorities, the combination of authorities' ambitions and the utilisation of the £2 billion private finance initiative credits recently announced in the comprehensive spending review, the Government believe sufficient infrastructure can be delivered to meet our obligations under the Landfill Directive. Image: Joan Ruddock

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