Ruddock: Infrastructure in place to meet 2010 landfill target
In the week the Planning Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons, Minister Joan Ruddock has told MPs that enough waste infrastructure is now in place to meet the 2010 Landfill Directive target.
And, responding to a question from Tory MP Anne McIntosh, Mrs Ruddock said plants with a capacity to process an extra 10.3 million tonnes of waste material are now scheduled to come online from 2008 onwards.
“81 plants across England (covering a range of treatment and disposal technologies) that are scheduled to become operational from 2008 onwards.” Joan Ruddock
However, the minister for waste and recycling conceded that more waste treatment plants will be needed to hit European targets beyond 2010.
She said: “While we are confident that we have enough infrastructure in place to meet our 2010 EU Landfill Directive target, current estimates suggest that we still require an increase in diversion capacity to allow us to meet the 2013 and 2020 targets.”
Since its new English waste strategy came out in May, Defra has been placing a greater emphasis on diverting residual waste from landfill, including an increased use of the PFI funding system for local authority infrastructure.
The minister said the Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme (WIDP) was monitoring existing and planned residual treatment capacity “to ensure that resources are applied in the most effective manner”.
Mrs Ruddock said: “We are currently aware of 81 plants across England (covering a range of treatment and disposal technologies) that are scheduled to become operational from 2008 onwards. These will potentially provide the capacity to treat an extra 10.3 million tonnes of municipal waste.
“With the ongoing engagement WIDP is undertaking with authorities, the combination of authorities’ ambitions and the utilisation of the £2 billion Private Finance Initiative credits recently announced in the comprehensive spending review, the government believes sufficient infrastructure can be delivered to meet our obligations under the Landfill Directive,” the minister added.
Defra is currently considering a national campaign to win public support for the new residual waste treatment infrastructure needed to meet the Directive targets set by Europe. See letsrecycle.com story.