Recycling gate fees down across the UK

New figures released last week show that gate fees at many materials recycling facilities (MRFs) and anaerobic digestion (AD) plants are lower than they were last year.

The findings were published in the fourth annual Gate Fees report produced by  the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

WRAP’s research shows that in comparison to 2010, the cost incurred by local authorities to send waste to landfill – including the landfill tax – has significantly increased. In contrast, gate fees at MRFs have fallen substantially with many local authorities reporting revenue for their recovered materials.

Similarly, gate fees for AD plants, which use microorganisms to breakdown biodegradable materials, are lower by around £13 per tonne.

WRAP’s Marcus Gover said the findings clearly demonstrated that there are increasingly affordable alternatives to landfill, which also deliver greater environmental benefits.

“We have seen a substantial decrease in MRF gate fees since the previous report, with some local authorities telling us that they are now receiving revenues of up to £15 to £20 per ton for their recovered materials, rather than being charged gate fees. This reflects the additional MRF capacity in the market, and buoyant recovered material prices.

“Another notable change compared with last year’s report is that the median gate fee for AD has dropped considerably. Indeed, several operators questioned indicated that they felt that AD gate fees might fall further. However, as the AD industry is still relatively young this finding is based on quite a small sample and so does need to be treated with some caution.”

WRAP says the report – which reflects prices across the UK – is published to provide local authorities with important market information; increasing price transparency and enhancing the efficiency with which the waste management market operates.

The full WRAP Gate Fees 2011 report can be found here

Sam Plester

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