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Energy from Waste hailed as best solution to UK’s waste

20 July 2020

The waste and recycling industry has welcomed a report from Policy Connect which states Energy from Waste (EfW) is the “best solution to the UK’s residual waste problem”. 

Reducing waste in landfill

The recently published report, called the ‘No Time to Waste – Resources, Recovery & the Road to Net-Zero’, concluded that EfW is the most cost-effective and safest way to deal with the UK’s waste. The report has been backed by a number of cross-party politicians, including recycling minister Rebecca Pow, who urged the entire industry to work together to help implement the measures needed to make this a reality. She said: “Now more than ever, it is crucial we move from a ‘throw away’ society to one that always looks at waste as a valuable resource. We want to be a world leader in tackling this challenge, which is why we’re transforming our waste system to ensure products are built to last and easier to recycle or repair.”

Executive director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Jacob Hayler, also supports Policy Connect’s report, saying: “As Policy Connect’s timely report concludes, energy recovery has an important role to play in the transition to a stronger, more sustainable, low-carbon economy and can help Britain build back better in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.” He went on to add: “The report shows that EfW infrastructure provides the most cost-effective and lowest carbon solution for household and municipal waste as the UK transitions to decarbonised heat and power by 2050.”

How effective is EfW?

It is widely regarded that while EfW is a good solution, it is not perfect for the long-term. However, according to Policy Connect, when it’s put in place with other measures, such as increasing heat use, removing plastics and decarbonising EfW further, “it is the best available technology and is an essential part of the net-zero transition ahead of us’’. 

All waste and recycling operators in the UK must build their future policies based around cutting carbon emissions and meeting net zero targets in order to create a more sustainable world. Encouraging the development of EfW is a large step towards achieving this and moves residual waste policies away from landfill and export and towards domestic EfW heat networks and carbon capture instead. It’s believed EfW will help generate low-carbon heat to fuel half a million homes and become the UK’s primary solution for dealing with non-recyclable waste. 

What is energy from waste?

As the name suggests, Energy from Waste (EfW) is all about generating usable energy for our homes and businesses, whether that’s for heating or electricity. The idea is to move away from our throw away mind set and instead adopt a more circular approach that increases the life cycle of products, recovers as much material for recycling as possible and then uses them for further benefit at the end of their life. While EfW is a great way to make the most of waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill, minimising waste, re-using products, recycling and composting are all preferable ways to deal with waste as they’re often more eco-friendly. 

W&S is one of the leading recycling companies in the UK commited to keeping as much material out of landfill as possible by offering a comprehensive range of sustainable services, including plastic, paper, glass and WEEE recycling and skip hire for both private homes and businesses. To find out more about our services, contact our friendly team today on 01202 675564

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