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Wood recyclers look to EfW future as landfill ban rejected

Recyclers have welcomed the Government’s decision not to ban wood waste from landfill.

The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) said there was “no real surprise” Defra had concluded now was not the right time for restrictions.

WRA, although previously in favour of a ban, lobbied against restrictions, saying the landfill tax escalator and biomass expansion would divert material.    

Defra’s conclusion, released on Friday (15 February), agreed that current wood to landfill levels were low and likely to continue falling without the need for Government intervention.

It said a ban could hurt small businesses.

Responses to the consultation, opened in July, raised concerns over enforcement and infrastructure requirements.

Peter Butt, executive director of the WRA said their focus was now on the continuation of the landfill tax escalator beyond 2014 and the development of energy from waste.

“Taken together, these measures should ensure that as much as possible of the type of wood currently going into landfill is diverted into useful markets.”

Director of policy at the Environmental Services Association, Matthew Farrow, tweeted his support for Defra’s decision. He said doubts over the environmental added value of restrictions and enforcement problems undermined the appeal of restrictions.

MRW looked at some of the factors affecting the industry’s views on the landfill ban back in November.

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