Business gloom in the EfW sector increased with reports of continuing problems for the gasification and pyrolysis group New Earth, with senior lenders rejecting a rescue plan.
The group thought that talks with a developer of large plants across Europe would produce a “favourable outcome” but this would ultimately prove to be a vain hope.
The failure of air Products’ Tees Valley project in April had prompted the then communities secretary Greg Clark to delay a decision on the Bilsthorpe plasma gasification plant because of similarities in the technology. Operator Peel Environmental robustly defended its project.
And there were positive voices raised at an EfW conference in London, with delegates remaining bullish that examples of successful operations would sustain the industry.
The long-running saga of the Closed Loop plastic milk bottle recycling facility in east London was nearing an end, with administrators running the facility a year after a takeover. Veolia later bought the facility.
And the troubled paper sector sought help, with the Confederation of Paper Industries calling for greater support from the Government to help cut energy costs.
Good news came in the form of Queen’s Awards for a furniture remanufacturer, an incinerator company, a packager, a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) exporter and a biogas business.
The ESA kicked off the first of a series of reports looking at radical changes to the UK recycling markets. The first asked questions about the relationship between local authorities and waste producers because, according to ESA executive director Jacob Hayler, “rising costs and depressed commodity markets are putting immense pressure on the sector”.
This was seen by some as establishing a case for switching ownership of secondary materials collected from households to waste producers. The ESA also commissioned a report which concluded that there was no obvious trend for councils to take household services in-house, although it did question the transparency of town hall decision-making.
One change for local authorities, this month gave them the power to issue on-the-spot fines for fly-tippers as part of a crime crackdown.
This month, MRW reported several times on EU proposals for a CE. But all that would soon be thrown into the air.