RDF exports down 10% in 2022, EA data shows

Exports of refuse derived fuel (RDF) from England fell by a further 10% year-on-year in the first half of 2022, provisional Environment Agency data has shown.

The Environment Agency data showed a 10% decrease in the export of RDF from last year

The data showed that between January and June 2022, 723,890 tonnes of RDF was exported, down from 800,669 the year before.

When extrapolated for the remainder of the year, this would indicate an annual fall of around 18%, the fifth consecutive fall for England.

Andrew Gadd, company manager at environmental consultancy Footprint Services, said: “The latest export statistics for RDF reflect a wider wariness across supply chains; with elevated costs and political uncertainty, the caution is understandable. Nonetheless, some routes remain remarkably robust.”

Despite the fall, RDF exporters remain confident. Many added that there are several markets across the rest of the UK which make up for the shortfall, with another adding that “order books are bigger than ever”.

The same dataset in 2021 showed a 25% drop from 2020 (see letsrecycle.com story)

Fallout

As outlined below in the Footprint table, Sweden took 37% of RDF from the UK, maintaining its spot as the post popular destination despite introducing a £6 a tonne RDF tax in April 2020.

Geminor remains the largest exporter of RDF, with 228, 694 tonnes exported, followed by Bertling Enviro, Probio and Andusia.

The only companies to record a jump in tonnage was Renewi, which has sent 27% more, and Bertling Enviro with a 25% jump.

Dutch processor AVR Waste (AVR Afvalverwerking) received the most RDF from the UK, taking in 146,853.

Months

The largest decrease was in February 2022, which was 19% down year on year. This decrease had slowed by April, where tonnage was just 1.5% down.

While RDF figures have shown a decline in recent years, exporters have remained confident that there will always be a need for it.

While the rest of the UK still uses it fully, many others say their own data often differs from that of the EA, too.

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