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WRAP finds huge rise in MRF gate fees

Gate fees charged to local authorities at MRFs jumped by almost half in 2017 against the previous year,

Figures from WRAP for its annual gate fees report Comparing the Costs of Waste Treatment Options showed median payments by councils for MRF services increased from £15 per tonne to £22 per tonne for the calendar year of 2017, a 46% rise.

Although most gate fees reported ranged only from £0 to £5, the range was much wider than for other technologies.

Some local authorities reported receiving £37 per tonne in income for their materials, while others paid up to £95 per tonne to their MRF.

For 2017, 16% (14) of local authority respondents to the report said they did not pay for MRF services compared with 21% (20) last year and 28% (30) in 2015. For contracts signed in 2017, the median gate fee was £35 per tonne against £29 per tonne last year.

WRAP said it expected that MRF gate fees would continue to fluctuate year-on-year, dictated by changes in commodity prices.

Median gate fees for in-vessel composting were £46 per tonne, £3 more than in 2016. But for anaerobic digestion there was a continuing downward trend at £26 per tonne, £3 lower than the previous year.

Energy-from-waste median fees were up by £3 to £86 per tonne, while fees for wood waste were stable during the year.

Non-hazardous landfill fees decreased slightly to £19 per tonne from £20 last year but variability was wide across the country, ranging from £2 to £82 per tonne, according to the availability of local capacity and alternative options.

Councils and waste contractors expected to see increases in landfill gate fees in future years as capacity reduces.

Readers' comments (1)

  • MRF prices were almost benign in 2017, compared with 2018 - when the China ban commenced. It is also a fact that the most environmental and sustainable fully under cover plants attract the highest business rates. Business rates cost Bywaters £1 million per annum and this cost has to be recovered from our local authority customers. Without business rates we would have £1 million more to spend on improvements each year, alternatively our customers could be saving £1 million per year! Constant investment is mandatory whatever happens.

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