Europe – The UK refuse-derived fuel (RDF) market gets ‘a bad press’ but this reputation is based on individual instances of poor practice, insists Andusia Recovered Fuels’ co-director Steve Burton. And he hails the thousands of tonnes of waste that is exported annually for energy recovery as ‘a good example of an industry that is working’.
Incineration is often presented as the enemy of recycling – but the reality is different, according to Burton. ′I would say around a third to a half of what is in domestic waste bins still comes out before it goes to RDF,′ he says. ′What we should be making sure is that what is exported is actually RDF – residual waste should not be exported,′ Burton observes.
The UK′s Environment Agency, which is benefitting from the ′booming′ RDF market through transfrontier shipment fees, should ′police′ the sector better, he adds. Burton argues that the RDF industry is ′more legitimate′ than is being publicised.
′There is nothing wrong politically and environmentally with what we do,′ he says. ′We are burning it and getting power from it. Unless you reduce the volume of residual waste, what do you do? It has got to be a big advantage over landfill.′
Andusia reported last week that it has collected over 10 000 truckloads of RDF destined for recovery. The company sources roughly 250 000 tonnes per year of RDF from suppliers in the UK. According to Environment Agency figures, Andusia is the country′s third largest exporter behind SITA UK and Biffa.
For more information, visit: www.andusia.co.uk