Incinerators feature heavily in Defra’s waste review

Plans to burn waste for energy feature prominently in a new waste review launched this morning (29 July) by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman spelt out the path towards a zero waste economy in DEFRA’s Review of Waste Policy, and called on businesses, households, communities, and local authorities in England to get involved.

The eight step consultation asks participants basic questions on what would encourage them to recycle and what gets in their way.

However, it also has an entire section dedicated to participant’s views on energy from waste.

It covers incineration and energy from landfill sites, but not directly any other technologies on the market.

Despite Ms Spelman saying the review will look at what role anaerobic digestion specifically has to play and what the country’s future infrastructure needs will be to support it.

The review goes on to ask if a participant would be willing to accept an energy from waste plant in their area – if the community got extra benefits – suggesting the Government is considering paying, or other deals for, poorer communities to host incinerators.

The Government also intends to look at the possibility of voluntary ‘Responsibility Deals’ with businesses to encourage recycling.

Ms Spelman said: “This is an exciting opportunity to look again at how we can increase recycling, reduce landfill and help unlock the real economic value of items people no longer want.

“We are committed to working towards a zero waste economy because it makes environmental and economic sense.

“Reducing waste needs to be made as easy as possible for people, it should be driven by incentives not penalties and common sense rather than coercion.

“We want everyone to have their say on what waste policies should look like and how existing policies affect them.

“This will be a comprehensive review of all waste policy from product packaging to waste collection and I would urge everyone to get involved.”

Luke Walsh

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