A resource management industry group has written to a number of ministers urging them to launch an investigation into tackling the UK’s waste facility “infrastructure gap”.
The letter to ministers states that more than 17 million tonnes of mixed waste continues to be deposited to landfill in the UK and “very little infrastructure has or is being built to service that residual waste arising from the commercial and industrial sector”.
The group of signatories comprise: the Environmental Services Association (ESA); the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM); Sita UK; Veolia Environmental Services UK; Cory Environmental Services; Grundon Waste Management; the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Ricardo-AEA.
In its letter, the group highlights that development and investment in energy-from-waste facilities, as well as recycling facilities, needs to continue as part of government’s agenda to help the UK divert waste from landfill.
It states that investment in waste infrastructure needs to be large, around £20billion, and “depends significantly on the confidence of investors and developers in the future of this market”.
The group also believes that government needs to understand the scale of works still to be undertaken and should launch a co-ordinated investigation into “how we can deliver the critical waste treatment infrastructure Britain needs”.
The letter states: “This would unlock investment, jobs and growth and would keep waste management costs down across the UK thereby supporting the rest of the productive economy.”
The letter draws attention to the recent Green Investment Bank (GIB) report The UK residual waste market, which highlights the infrastructure gap in the UK waste and resources sector, and the need for investment.
The group wrote: “Contrary to the views of a vocal minority, the UK is heading for a significant capacity gap for residual waste treatment.”
The letter was sent to ministers at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), Defra and the Treasury.