The project, for regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), shows how and where key waste and recycling infrastructure can be deployed to assist in the development of a low carbon economy.

The starting point for the strategy and support tool was the identification of a waste resource infrastructure capacity gap in the West Midlands of 3.7 million tonnes by 2021; equivalent to 250 million black bags of waste per year. The quantity of waste infrastructure development required to deal with this would equate to around 260 hectares of land.

Working closely with AWM, SLR Consulting and DTZ developed an analysis tool which provides a coherent approach to diverting waste from landfill across the West Midlands and identifies ‘hot spots’ of opportunity to develop waste infrastructure in the region, and support local businesses to manage their waste more efficiently.

SLR Technical Director, Alban Forster said: “This project seeks to develop stronger links between the waste and recycling industry, regeneration agencies and local businesses. The approach adopted can easily be replicated across the UK, to encourage waste and recycling infrastructure to be developed where it is most needed.

“Even though RDAs are being disbanded, waste treatment infrastructure still needs to be delivered if the UK is to avoid being in breach of its EU landfill diversion obligations. In many areas there will be an increased reliance on merchant facility development which is exactly what the support tool developed for AWM is designed to do. It is gratifying that this has been acknowledged by the RTPI with this nomination.”

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