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RDF export increases by a third

The export of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel from England and Wales has increased by a third in the past year.

Latest figures released by the Environment Agency indicate that almost 2.4 million tonnes of the materials were shipped abroad in 2014, half a million more than in 2013.

This continued the growing trend of the past four years, with exports rocketing from 11,103 tonnes reported in 2010.

As with previous years, the Netherlands continued to be the main importer of UK RDF, with 1.3 million tonnes received, or 54% of the total.

Germany, Sweden and Denmark followed with 20%, 16% and 5%, respectively.

Linda Ovens, associate director at consultancy AMEC, said this suggested that RDF was still going to large-scale mixed waste energy-from-waste facilities rather than cement kiln operators, which are mainly located in eastern Europe.

However, she also noted new routes were opening up, such as France, Finland and Belgium.

Biffa was the top exporter with 306,000 tonnes, followed by Sita UK at 298,000 and FCC Recycling UK at 185,000.

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