CIWM: Poor C&I info leading to infrastructure challenge

A data vacuum surrounding commercial and industrial (C&I) waste arisings is creating a reactive market with limited strategic future planning, according to a new CIWM report.

The report, entitled Commercial and Industrial waste in the UK and Republic of Ireland brings together all entire available C&I data from across the UK and Ireland and attempts to forecast future arisings and capacity.

CIWM’s president David Beadle said the report “highlights just how inadequate the data is and throws into stark relief how poorly informed we are as a sector to make robust, strategic decisions about the future planning and delivery of waste infrastructure”.

He added: “This situation, coupled with inadequate mechanisms to support larger than local planning and the impact on investment opportunities posed by feedstock uncertainty, are major challenges for C&I waste.”

C&I waste remains a complex and under-reported waste stream which is significantly affecting the time and success of any planned new infrastructure delivery, according to the report.

However, the study highlights that national agencies and regulators have made several attempts to collect and model data on C&I waste arisings.

The findings show that England is generating the greatest amount of C&I waste, at a fairly stable production of 50m tonnes per annum. In contrast, Wales produces three million tonnes of C&I waste and Scotland produces six million tonnes. Northern Ireland produces 0.5m tonnes and Ireland produces 3.8m.

Elsewhere, the report also attempts to make future projections for C&I waste arisings identifying largely stable waste generation levels to 2020. Assessing capacity need for sorting, organic and thermal treatment has shown that there is likely to be a significant capacity shortfall in the UK and Ireland.

In a statement about the report, Environparks Wales director David Williams said: “The money needed to be invested to meet government landfill diversion targets needs to come from somewhere and will need to be funded by someone – but we can’t get funding without data. I can’t emphasise enough the need for reliable data, it is essential for new business and new business growth.”

Liz Gyekye

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