Criticism from a Conservative party MP that the Government has not sufficiently promoted energy-from-waste (EfW) to the public has been rejected by Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock.
In a House of Commons debate MP Anne McIntosh said: I understand that we need energy-from-waste schemes around the country, but at the moment they are not going ahead to a sufficient extent because of concern about incineration. When will the Government take this theme to the country and explain why energy-from-waste is so necessary at this time?
Ruddock responded: The Government have already made it absolutely clear that EfW systems are part of the waste treatment facilities that this country needs. Private finance credits worth £2 billion are available for the development of more waste infrastructure, and some of the facilities will indeed be EfW plants.
McIntosh also asked how the Government would deal with the mountains of paper and plastic that had been collected for recycling but are currently piling up because of a lack of buyer demand.
Ruddock admitted that there was a short-term problem with the material accumulating. However, she said she expected this issue to be dealt with over time.
This is not the time for us to begin to discontinue our recycling effort - we must recycle because that saves new resources being used, she said.
She agreed with McIntosh that EfW was one recycling solution but added that it was not the only one.
We still need plants that recycle waste and the new developments in recycling plants, especially for plastics, will help to resolve some of the problems, said Ruddock.