Resource Use

Invest in new EfW facilities ‘only when needed’, says CEWEP

The Confederation of European Waste to Energy Plants (CEWEP) has released a statement advising that the investment in new or expanded waste to energy (EfW) plants should only take place in well justified cases.

The statement also considers the future role of EfW plants in the move towards a circular economy.

EfW plantSpeaking on Monday, CEWEP President Paul De Bruycker said: “CEWEP firmly believes that investment in new or expanded WtE (waste to energy) capacity should only take place in well justified cases, in full respect of the waste hierarchy.

“Our members are very carefully assessing the market before making any investment decisions."

Whilst the CEWEP has said that there is currently no overcapacity of EfW plants on the European level, it has noted that there is more EfW capacity available than domestically required on the local level, which is attributed to historical decisions.

The statement adds that it is important to judge future EfW plant capacity within the circular economy by taking the whole feedstock into account, including residual municipal waste as well as commercial and industrial waste.

The CEWEP added that looking ahead, EfW plants will be best placed to provide ‘secure, reliable and affordable treatment’ to non-recyclable waste streams that are rejected from recycling and sorting facilities.

The CEWEP has members across the EU, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK.

UK members included FCC Environment, North London Waste Authority, Urbaser and Viridor, which recently announced proposals for a new EfW plant in Scotland.

CEWEP’s statement comes after recent developments in carbon capture technology available at EfW facilities, with waste management company Veolia announcing it is set to generate the latest carbon capture technology in its UK plants.

These plans have come under fire from the UK Without Incineration Network, arguing that the technology does not make incineration sustainable.