Surplus Incinerator Capacity

Photograph of Viridor’s (so called Exeter Energy from Waste facility)  Waste Incinerator in Exeter, which began operations in July 2014

Viridor’s (so called Exeter Energy from Waste facility) Waste Incinerator in Exeter, which began operations in July 2014

Eunomia revises EfW surplus prediction

Waste consultancy Eunomia has brought forward its estimate as to when the UK will have too much available energy-from-waste treatment capacity, stating that the country is on course for a surplus by 2017/18.

The report factors in both existing EfW capacity and plants under development.

And, the consultancy claims that if development of EfW facilities continues at its current rate, a proposed 70% by 2030 EU recycling target will be impossible to meet, as the UK will limit itself to a maximum 66% recycling by that date.

The claim pitches Eunomia firmly against the belief held by the waste industry, with firms including Veolia and SITA UK all claiming that the UK is on course for a treatment shortfall within the next decade.

Eunomia has today (November 27) published the seventh edition of its Residual Waste Infrastructure Review, in which the consultancy predicts that once operational and planned developments and committed tonnages for export are factored in, treatment capacity will exceed the amount of waste available by as early as 2017/18. Previously it had claimed that this situation was only likely by 2018/19 (see letsrecycle.com story).
The report claims that currently there is around 9.9 million tonnes of operational residual waste treatment capacity in the UK, with a further 7.1 million tonnes in development, as well as 0.7 million tonnes of other capacity which has reached financial close and is due to start construction.

Capacity

Based on modelling of changes in total waste arisings, Eunomia predicts that there will be a total of 83.9 million tonnes of waste, including recyclable material, available for treatment by 2030/31.
Should all of the planned waste treatment capacity come online, the report concludes, this would leave the UK with a maximum achievable recycling rate of 66%.

The full Eunomia report can be downloaded from their website.