Energy from waste
We generate a large amount of municipal waste which must be managed.
Local authorities collected 30.9 million tonnes of municipal waste in England and
Wales in 2006/07. This included 27.5 million tonnes of waste from households,
representing around 509 kg per person per year.
The main route for municipal waste disposal in the UK has traditionally been landfill.
However, to comply with the requirements of the European Landfill Directive, England
and Wales must landfill no more than about 12 million tonnes of biodegradable
municipal waste by 2009/10, 8 million tonnes by 2012/13 and 5.5 million tonnes by
We must urgently find affordable ways of managing municipal waste that cannot be
recycled and maximise its use as a resource.
Our position on energy from waste
We believe that we need to create less waste, recycle more and maximise the use of
residual waste in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
We believe that recovering energy from waste can contribute to a balanced energy
We consider that it may be appropriate for local authorities to include energy from
waste in their strategies and plans provided that:
it does not undermine preventing or minimising waste, re-use, recycling or
it forms part of a properly considered and appraised regional or local
it is consistent with the statutory aim to establish an integrated and adequate
network of waste disposal installations and enable waste to be disposed of in
one of the nearest appropriate installations.
We also consider that energy generated by incineration should be recovered as far as
practicable, for example using Combined Heat and Power (CHP) schemes,
consistent with the requirements of Best Available Techniques (BAT.
We will not issue an environmental permit for any industrial site, including energy
from waste plants, if we consider they will cause significant pollution to the
environment or h