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Eunomia report predicts residual waste treatment overcapacity by 2015

Issue 3 of the Eunomia Residual Waste Infrastructure Review has concluded that the UK could have more residual waste treatment capacity than residual waste by 2015, with the main question simply being the extent of this overcapacity.The high level version of the report is free, with the detailed version priced at £385.00 + VAT. Eunomia also provides bespoke client studies. The report is available from:

According to Section 1.2 of the report: “In the UK, there were over 29.6 million tonnes of residual waste arising from local authority collected (MSW) and commercial and industrial (C&I) sources in 2011/12…Without any change in residual waste quantities…there would be overcapacity of 6.9 million tonnes (per annum) if the 19.6 million tonnes of waste treatment capacity that has planning consent reaches financial close and subsequent operation. [Additionally,] Planning consent is being sought for a further 4.4 million tonnes of waste treatment capacity.”

What the Eunomia report does not look into is whether we already have more residual waste treatment capacity than current or future genuinely residual feedstock, and whether there is already more incineration capacity built or under construction than available combustible genuinely residual waste.

One of UKWIN’s arguments against new incinerators is that after all viable reduction, re-use, recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion has taken place there just would not be enough residual combustible material left to feed the existing incinerators and those already under construction throughout their operational lifetime, let alone provide any sort of rationale for building even more incinerators (often at great public expense).

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