CBI calls on government to encourage EfW

8 October 2010 | By Ruth Faulkner

The UK’s leading business organisation is calling on the government to encourage the use of non-recyclable waste to meet the UK’s energy needs.

In its new report, Going to Waste: Making the Case for Energy from Waste, the CBI estimated the UK could quadruple the proportion of energy it generates from waste from 1.5% to 6% by 2015, providing there is strong government leadership.

The report does not favour any particular technology as a means of dealing with waste and producing energy. It said government should avoid “picking winners” in terms of technology and let the market decide the most cost effective option.

However, the report said incineration should be used to deal with non-recyclable household waste, as it is cleaner and more efficient than burning fossil fuels and prevents the need to landfill the waste.

The CBI also warned that unless urgent steps are taken to cut landfill usage, the UK will face fines from the European Union of around £182.5m a year.

Commenting on the report, CBI director of business environment Neil Bentley said: “We cannot continue dumping rubbish in landfill sites. Waste that can’t be recycled could be used to heat homes and produce electricity, as well as improving our energy security.

“Across Europe, generating energy from waste is common and compatible with high levels of recycling.

“The Government needs to encourage the development of more anaerobic digestion and incineration plants, and tackle delays in the planning system.”

The report has been welcomed by leading figures in the waste management industry. Viridor chief executive Colin Drummond said: “This CBI briefing is timely and important, coming as it does at a crucial stage of the UK Government’s waste policy review.”

“Viridor wholly concurs with the main findings and recommendations. As a leading UK recycler and renewable power generator, we are clear on the benefits of EfW technology working alongside high levels of recycling. Energy from waste has an important role to play in meeting our energy and resource efficiency needs, and Government, local authorities and the recycling and waste industry must work in partnership to deliver

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