It will cost £5 billion to dispose of London’s waste between now and 2020, according to a report prepared by consultant Mouchel Parkman. The report Waste modelling for London was prepared jointly with Cranfield University.
Landfill tax increases and the implementation of much higher rates of recycling and waste processing all comes at a cost which has been rising at an annual rate of 50% year on year since 2004, according to the report, as reported in the New Civil Engineer, the UK Institution of Civil Engineer’s members magazine.
This excludes the cost of any fines which some think may also be incurred, as the rate of progress toward acheiving EU Waste Diversion charges appears to be slower than anticipated.
The authors find that the cheapest way to comply with the waste targets will be to utilise MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment). The Waster finds it surprising that they concluded that this would be cheaper than incineration, but only marginally, and wonders whether realistic costs were allowed for in the event that the organic compost product cannot be sold or used due to low quality, and therefore still ends up in landfill after all – as seems likely unless the compost material and any RDF produced can be reclassified as a product, and not remain “waste”.
The Mayor prefers higher recycling rates and a range of technologies. Surely, adoption of a range of technologies will be inevitable, and the Mayor has it right on that one.
Biffa Waste Management’s Peter Jones is quoted as having said that 300 facilities will be needed to be built over the next 14 years.