August 2017
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11:16:34 am

Why Waste Collections Are Not Getting Any Cheaper, Despite Increased Recycling

Less waste will be landfilled with every passing year, since the Landfill tax increases by GBP8.00 per tonne every April. This waste is increasingly redirected towards Waste (EfW) plants and Anaerobic Digestion (from Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), Energy AD) web sites, where recyclable material is divided or energy recovered from the waste. Such facilities have cropped up around the UK to fulfill this need, with many more currently working their way through the planning application system.

As Landfill Tax can represent the maximum amount of as 60% of the price of a general/mixed waste collection service and landfill alternatives obviously don't incur Landfill Tax, it should follow that waste collections should be getting cheaper. Arguably, however, this isn't occurring and it really is smaller companies which are feeling the effect of rising costs.

Perhaps the main reason costs for general waste collections aren't falling is due to lack of capacity in the industry. Lack of capacity within the UK waste management industry means lack of competitive pressures between landfill alternatives. As such, operators of landfill diversion sites have really been able to increase their costs in accordance with Landfill Tax, without losing customers. Landfill diversion capacity is rising, but there are a bunch of reasons why the UK has lagged behind the remainder of Europe.

Many waste management companies have resisted the shift from landfill to landfill-diversion because, most of the time, they own or manage landfill web sites. Understandably, then, such companies have sought every last bit of value possible from their investments before concentrating on future ones. The substantial amounts involved within this marketplace show just how far the UK has to advance before it catches up.

The application for permission to build facilities to manage waste normally contributes to furious resistance by a wide range of groups, regardless of the technology or procedure involved. The stark reality is, however, that modern waste management sites are put through many different controls and regulations that ensure public health and safety. Indeed, complying with discharge limitations from EfW sites, as an example, is one factor that adds a great deal of costs to such developments, costs that have to be recouped. This is likewise the result of the long and high priced planning procedure, which increases the point for developers. Everyone might well be in favour of landfill diversion, but apparently no one is in favour of it really occurring in their 'back yard'!

As well as Landfill Tax, dramatic increases have been also seen by many other costs incurred by the waste collections industry lately. Fuel is perhaps the most obvious, increasing over 26% in the year just before February 2012. Higher oil prices also increase the costs associated with shipping recyclable waste to reprocessing plants in Asia, cutting back the worth of recyclables because of this. This harms MRF operators, who depend in the sale and retrieval of proposed tonnages of precious materials. The effects of those increases in costs mean that waste collection companies find it necessary to raise index prices, even if the company has been able to divert waste from landfill.

Fundamentally, current trends indicate that waste management has grown a *considerably more competitive and effective industry in the UK. Regardless of the problems discussed, support is growing for the development of landfill diversion facilities. Such facilities demand immense throughput for greatest efficiency and will eventually soak up current excess capacity and beyond. Moreover, the overall number of mixed waste is usually falling, as a result of increased recycling within the domestic sector. Rivalry will drive down costs, as this continues and general / mixed waste collections within the commercial and industrial sectors should become cheaper, or at the very least cease increasing in price. Indeed, we might find ourselves in exactly the same position as continental Europe and the United States Of America by 2015, where waste management companies end up pursuing desperatelyneeded tonnages and costs become incredibly economical.

In these difficult economic times, an end to increases in just about any costs will surely help small businesses and waste management will definitely play its part. Whether or not this development will help the surroundings, however, remains open for argument.

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