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Will EfW thrive in post Brexit Britain?

With the date for triggering Article 50 announced to be next week, could this mean that we can expect Defra to finally publish it’s Environment Plan? After many delays and promises that it would be published ‘soon’ from Andrea Leadsom, MPs are pushing for Ms Leadsom to commit to a date. Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Mary Creagh, has written a letter to Ms Leadsom expressing her disappointment over this delay and insisted that the article should have been published and consulted on before the triggering of Article 50. The date for this has now been set for 29th March but we have had no confirmation of when we can expect the publication of the 25 year Environment Plan. 


In the aftermath of the monumental decision to leave the EU, the waste industry is waiting with baited breath for this publication, outlining the department’s environmental policy priorities for the next 25 years. Kristian Dales, Sales and Marketing Executive of FCC Environment says in the CIWM that “the importance of this document should not be underestimated. We will be looking out for bold plans for waste legislation that are fit for the UK market, and not a tired blue-print of the “one-size-fits-all” approach previously adopted by the EU environmental directives.” Kristian echoes our thoughts here, that the hope is the government will make a commitment to energy from waste in the UK. 

We have already seen a huge upturn in the trend towards EfW equipment and hImabe Fully Automatic Channel Balersave been focusing on ensuring we meet this demand by supplying equipment which helps to ‘close the loop’. Some of the latest equipment we have added to our range includes the BioDigester for reducing the volume of food waste, resulting in a product that can be either used for compost or as pellets for AD fuel; as well as a Pelletiser to complete this process. We also supply Imabe RDF balers. Currently a sensible option in the UK is to export the RDF bale. This is cost effective as it offers the chance to utilise empty return import journeys and meet the feedstock demands of state-of-the-art European EfW facilities. Exporting residual waste is, for now, a logical and cost-effective solution but will the publication of the Environment Plan see investment into EfW within the UK, meaning the RDF would no longer need to be exported?

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CIWM – March 2017, page 28, “Safeguarding Energy Security”, by Kristian Dales

CIWM – March 2017, page 48, “Reverse Logistics”, by James Maiden


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