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Waste sector needs a 'Lord Coe'

The waste management industry needs a “Lord Coe equivalent” to champion the sector, according to the boss of SITA UK.

David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of SITA UK, which was responsible for recycling at the Olympic venues, has called for a leadership figure to help drive significant infrastructure projects needed to boost the domestic waste processing market.

Posting on the SITA UK blog and speaking on Radio 5 Live’s On The Money programme, Palmer-Jones made the comparison between the speed and efficiency of delivering the Olympic project, and the 15 years taken to get planning permission for an energy from waste plant in nearby Bexley.

He said that the sector wanted to invest £20bn into new facilities which would create up to 80,000 jobs and produce enough energy to meet 40% of the Government’s renewable energy target.

“So what’s holding us back from achieving this fantastic opportunity?” he said. “Well, sadly, our industry doesn’t have someone like Lord Coe to champion our cause and speed up infrastructure delivery.

“The recycling and waste management industry offers the very green growth that the government wants and, even better, it’s stimulated by private money. Therefore, I am hoping that within government there is a champion who will work with the industry to deliver the infrastructure the UK needs, so we can put our waste materials to good use.”

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