Pause on EfW permits

Earlier this month, Defra issued a seven-week ban on all new EfW permits. A scoping period up to 24th May will be used to determine if a full review is required, which has been suggested to last up to 12 months.

The RDF Industry Group welcomes this decision, which reflects an appropriate response to potential overcapacity within the English residual waste incineration sector. However, the government must also recognise the crucial role of international WDF trade in the waste management supply chain.

Building the right amount of EfW capacity is challenging, given the long lifespans of facilities, and in light of government policies which prioritise waste reduction over recovery from waste. However, EfW does offer a greener alternative to landfills.

WDF exports are therefore crucial, utilising existing capacity abroad and preventing the UK from over-building infrastructure. Calls for export bans overlook this need for flexibility, especially as recent data shows modest reductions in waste, but not enough to meet targets. Denying WDF exports risks a costly and impractical waste treatment landscape.

The following links provide more information on the ban: