Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

ESA in ‘urgent’ talks with Defra over treatment capacity

Stewart davies

Stewart Davies, chief executive of Augean and chair of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), has said the organisation is “talking urgently” with Defra over the lack of investment in alternatives to landfill.

Speaking at the ’Resourcing the Future’ conference in London on 28 June, Davies (pictured) said the treatment capacity gap was the “biggest near-term issue facing our sector” as landfill sites are wound up.

He said: “Four-fifths of the landfill capacity in the UK is expected to close in the period 2015-30.

“But the investment climate hasn’t been right, including the planning environment, so we are not getting the treatment capacity in place that is needed to balance the material flows.

“We are talking very urgently with Defra and the Environment Agency about how the environment for those investments can be improved.”

He warned that Scotland had four years to go until the implementation of a landfill ban, but that less than half of the necessary treatment capacity was currently in place.

He said that uncertainties around how Brexit would affect material flows was also a potential source of crisis.

“These are very immediate pressures,” he added.

An ESA spokesperson told MRW that discussions were ongoing between the policy team and Defra.

Davies added that the ESA was talking to Ofgem over its decision to cut subsidies to small-scale power generators, including anaerobic digestion and landfill gas.

He said that ignoring ’grandfather rights’ at developments would have an adverse impact on investment in the sector.

“Currently, we are engaged in that debate with Ofgem about the embedded benefits which could cost our sector £80m annually from 2020,” he said.

“That’s an example of where the sector has made an investment, and then retrospectively Government is interfering with that certainty on the basis which the investment was made.”

The ESA was a signatory to a letter from the Trade Association Group congratulating Michael Gove on his appointment as environment secretary and seeking an early meeting to discuss policy.

The letter urged Gove to give industry “the confidence to invest in the infrastructure urgently needed to maximise the recovery of valuable materials, energy and nutrients from waste”.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.