RDF Industry Group: ‘Exporting EfW has net greenhouse gas benefit’

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Industry Group has published a report on the industry’s role in solving the greenhouse gas emission issue. 

Its research has shown that exporting Energy-from-Waste and keeping it from landfill, “even over distances up to 9,000km” has a net greenhouse gas benefit. 

The report, entitled ‘The Role of Waste Derived Fuel in the EU’s Energy and Resource Transition’ was put together by Eunomia, and reflects on the benefits of treatment of residual waste via waste-to-energy (WtE). 


Andy Jones, chair of the RDF Industry Group, said: “The environmental benefits of WtE are clear: it avoids the harmful methane emissions associated with landfill and it produces energy, displacing fossil energy sources like coal and gas. The move to decarbonise WtE also incentivises pre-treatment, which has the potential to increase recycling.   

“Taking a single market view of RDF trade across Europe will be vital to the success of the industry. This means pooling WtE capacity across the EU and ensuring policy is designed to support joined-up, Europe-wide approach.”  


The report has suggested it is “imperative” for the EU to “streamline” taxation policies, removing existing national carbon, incineration and import taxes on waste derived fuel once EFW is under the ETS scope to avoid double or triple taxation.  

The RDF Industry Group recommended that policymakers should place higher taxes on fossil fuels compared to WDF, apply carbon taxes solely to the fossil carbon content of WDF and exempt the heat offtake from EFW facilities from carbon taxation. 

Additionally, the RDF Industry Group has said “practical, affordable and robust” carbon calculation methods should be available to EfW operators, and fixed carbon rates for taxes should be assessed. 

According to the report from RDF Group, an integrated policy approach across Europe is “essential” for achieving emission reduction and any policy should consider “resource efficiency”.  

Moreover, the report said the EU should ensure the use of all available EfW capacity in the region can help maximise landfill diversion and reduce methane emissions. It suggested that methane is responsible for “30% of global warming” and in Europe is found most often in emissions from landfill sites, accounting for nearly 70% of the European waste sectors emissions.  

The report also suggested that mandatory levels of recycled content in new plastic products should be introduced and enforced in the EU to promote recycling. 

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