Fines loom as UK slow to act on waste cut target
Source: New Civil Engineer Magazine
England is too slow at reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and could face European Union (EU) fines as a result, the government’s public spending watchdog has warned.
The National Audit Office’s Managing the Waste PFI Programme report accuses the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of being too slow to react when in 1999 the EU ordered member states to cut by 50% the amount of biodegradable waste they send to landfill by 2013.
It added that although 18 new PFI waste schemes worth Â£1.6bn are underway, local authorities had experienced delays in completing deals and bringing the projects into operation.
Auditor General Tim Burr said: “Defra is doing a lot to accelerate the programme of new waste treatment facilities being procured through private finance.”
“But, at the rate at which projects are being delivered, England risks missing the 2013 EU landfill reduction target, leaving the UK open to the possibility of fines.”
** End of NCE report **
The Waster says: The situation has the potential to deteriorate quite rapidly now for the UK’s PFI award programme. Many contracts have been delayed by the credit crunch which has meant the unexpected renegotiation of terms for loans between PFI providers and their banks when the banking system suffered so heavily in autumn 2008.
A number of PFI Contracts have been due to start since the summer, but still await award, and their programmes (which include building all the new waste processing facilities essential for the UK to meet the UE targets) must necessarily be put back.
The Greater Manchester PFI is just one example of the delays witnessed and was reported by the Wastersblog just after Christmas, yet there is still no news of award.