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Sita questions capacity forecasts

Stuart Hayward-Higham, technical development director at Sita UK, has told key industry figures that nobody is right in the ongoing debate over the country’s waste treatment infrastructure capacity.

A number of conflicing reports on capacity have been produced by academics, waste companies and the Government, with some claiming there are not enough waste treatment plants and some claiming there are too many.

Speaking at RWM, Hayward-Higham said: “No forecast is ever right. No model is ever right – it’s just a view.”

He emphasised the importance of good data when coming up with a model and said that all the companies and bodies with conflicting views on the capacity debate had used different data sets and models to come up with their final predictions.

“You’ve got to have good data, or it’s all just a guess,” he said.

When coming up with Sita UK’s model, Hayward-Higham explained some of the data that needs to be taken into account before coming up with a model to predict whether there will be a shortfall in capacity or not.

He said that traditionally, when a country’s GDP and population increase, that was reflected in an increase in waste.

Data such as information on age and immigration data must also be taken into account, he argued.

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