Public animosity, Government prevarication and industry nervousness are stalling the building of necessary waste facilities, according to an Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) report.
It stated that up to 2,300 new waste treatment facilities costing £30 billion must be operational by 2020 to avoid a major crisis involving millions of tonnes of untreated waste.
ICE Waste Management Board vice chairman Nigel Mattravers said: The annual volume of waste in this country is increasing every year, and every year we see more campaigns preventing the introduction of desperately needed facilities. Private companies are constantly fighting an uphill battle against local government and UK residents over the siting of plants and unless circumstances are improved, these companies may begin to turn away from an increasingly unprofitable industry.
The general public needs to be educated to allay their fears about the dangers of these facilities and understand that refusing them may lead to the much larger problem of millions of tonnes of rubbish with simply nowhere to go.
He added that the UK was miles behind continental Europe in waste management industry advancements.
The need to move away from just stuffing our waste into the ground means that in six years time we will need to be where countries like Denmark and the Netherlands were a decade ago.