RDF exports quadruple in five months
7 March 2012
The amount of refuse-derived fuel exported to continental Europe for incineration has quadrupled in the last five months, according to data released by the Environment Agency.
Between January 1 2011 and February 24 2012, 290,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) was exported. This compares to the 67,000 tonnes exported between September 2010 and September 2011 (see letsrecycle.com story).
At the same time, the amount permitted for export almost doubled, from 1,143,000 tonnes in September 2011 to 1,921,000 tonnes in February 2012.
RDF is a fuel produced by shredding and dehydrating solid waste and if companies wish to export it, they need to notify the Environment Agency of the final destination, to ensure it does not end up in landfill.
However, the practice has attracted criticism from some in the waste sector who fear that it could put investment in domestic energy-from-waste capacity at risk (see letsrecycle.com story) and could mean the UK is exporting its waste problem to the continent (see letsrecycle.com story).
In total, 21 companies were permitted to export material over the last thirteen months to eight European countries: Denmark; Estonia; Germany; Latvia; the Netherlands; Portugal; Spain; and, Sweden. The Agency said it could not name the exact facilities to which the material is sent.
The company to export to most to date, at 102,879 tonnes, is SITA UK, which is also permitted to export the largest amount (529,500 tonnes).The second highest quantity of RDF was exported by organics recycling and renewable energy specialist New Earth Solutions, which sent a total of 53,215 tonnes for energy recovery in the Netherlands.
Seven new companies have become permitted to export RDF since September 2011. These are: Associated Waste Management of Leeds; F D Todd & Sons Ltd of Thirsk; North East waste management company JBT Waste Services Ltd; London-based McGrath Bros (Waste Control) Ltd; One51 ES Recycling UK (South) Ltd (Country Waste Management); paper recycling business SCA Recycling (which is in the process of being acquired by DS Smith); and Wembley-based waste and recycling firm Seneca Environmental Solutions Ltd (part of the Carey Group).
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency indicated that many companies saw the export of RDF as a short-term solution and that it expected the amount of RDF permitted for export would go down as more domestic treatment capacity comes online.
Table - RDF exports permitted by the Environment Agency between January 1 2011 and February 24 2012. Source: Environment Agency
|Country of destination||Notifier||
|Denmark||DONG Energy Waste UK Ltd||31,325||160,000|
|Denmark||Stobart Biomass Products Limited||35,000|
|Denmark||Transwaste Recycling & Aggregates Ltd||4,372||24,000|
|Estonia||Hinkcroft Transport Ltd||1,666||15,000|
|Germany||Shanks Waste Management Ltd||5,044||13,003|
|Germany||Thanet Waste Services Ltd||402||12,000|
|Germany||Thanet Waste Services Ltd||9,521||12,000|
|Latvia||N&P Alternative Fuels Ltd||8,943||50,000|
|Latvia||One51 ES Recyclying UK (South) Ltd||20,000|
|Latvia||Shanks Waste Management Ltd||50,000|
|Latvia||SITA UK Ltd||25,000|
|Netherlands||Associated Waste Management Ltd||50,000|
|Netherlands||Biffa Waste Services Limited||9,509||100,000|
|Netherlands||Biffa Waste Services Limited||6,684||60,000|
|Netherlands||F D Todd & Sons Ltd||377||12,475|
|Netherlands||Greenway Waste Recycling Ltd||35,883||234,000|
|Netherlands||JBT Waste Services Ltd||463||14,000|
|Netherlands||McGrath Bros (Waste Control) Ltd||2,910||20,000|
|Netherlands||New Earth Solutions Ltd||11,616||15,000|
|Netherlands||New Earth Solutions Ltd||29,613||50,000|
|Netherlands||New Earth Solutions Ltd||11,986||25,000|
|Netherlands||Nordic Recycling Ltd||2,009||2,000|
|Netherlands||Seneca Environmental Solutions Ltd||277||160,000|
|Netherlands||Shanks Waste Management Ltd||9,414||100,000|
|Netherlands||Shanks Waste Management Ltd||50,000|
|Netherlands||SITA UK Ltd||17,174||50,000|
|Netherlands||SITA UK Ltd||75,595||336,000|
|Netherlands||Waste Recycling Limited||534||12,500|
|Portugal||Transwaste Recycling & Aggregates Ltd||24,000|
|Spain||N&P Alternative Fuels Ltd||20,000|
|Sweden||N&P Alternative Fuels Ltd||10,000|
|Sweden||SCA Recycling Limited||2,420||10,000|
|Sweden||Stobart Biomass Products Limited||1,237||30,000|