In a heavy-hitting 15-page submission to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), UKWIN calls for the NIC’s investigation into infrastructure capacity requirements to accept that we have reached the end of the line when it comes to building new incineration capacity in the UK.The consultation submission – available from – states:

“Rather than deciding how best to site new waste incinerators the NIC should work on the basis that a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity is necessary to support a circular economy, alongside noting that the removal of plastics and food waste from EfW feedstock would result in surplus EfW capacity without the need for new build.”

“Additional incineration capacity is not needed, does not merit being supported or underwritten by the public purse, and should be actively avoided. There is a genuine risk that exacerbating incineration overcapacity could further undermine efforts to deliver much-needed infrastructure relating to the higher tiers of the waste hierarchy, i.e. incineration acts as a barrier to a more circular economy and to CO2 emission reductions associated with the circular economy.

“Energy generated through the incineration of waste is both high carbon and unsustainable. Electricity produced through incineration has a higher carbon intensity than the conventional use of fossil fuels (including Combined Cycle Gas Turbines), and is significantly higher than the level most people would consider to constitute ‘low carbon’.

“Gasification and pyrolysis constitute some of the riskiest technologies in the waste industry and are synonymous with bankruptcies, failures and broken promises. This perception is well deserved, with the lack of examples of success starkly contrasting with a litany of failures…gasification and pyrolysis do not offer viable options for the management of mixed waste. As such, this class of technologies should be excluded from any serious consideration of the range of technologies available to manage waste.”

“In relation to existing incinerators, there is a danger in investing more money in such facilities when we have yet to properly consider which incinerators will need to be shut down first as part of an incineration exit strategy tied to the transition to a more circular economy.”

Speaking of the submission, UKWIN National Coordinator Shlomo Dowen said:

“It is vital that when considering future infrastructure needs the UK plans for a future where the economy is more circular, where resources are more productive, and where ‘residual waste’ is being phased out. Incineration is associated with the linear ‘make-use-dispose’ model and everyone agrees that this is unsustainable.”

To read UKWIN’s submission in full see

To read the submission from Biofuelwatch see

3 Responses to “UKWIN calls on NIC to accept end of the line for incineration”

  1. Great work. The arguments are clear and you cut through the misleading terminology used by the waste industry to obscure the issues.

  2. The burning of waste is totally wrong and against everthing that we in Sunderland have worked so hard for , clean air and environment. Stop this development before its too late for the people whos lives are goimg to bt tainted by it.

  3. We do not need this in Washington, it is a rural area. Springwell was closed some time ago owing to pollution etc., and that place is only a 10 minute car ride from Washington. Do they actually care about us in Sunderland Council or are we still the cash cow they have come to rely on?

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