Subsidising the dash to burn trash

Municipal waste incineration is at a crossroads. Only a handful of the UK's incinerators are likely to survive beyond 1996, when EC emission rules will bite. The private sector wants to step into the breach with up to 15 major waste-to-energy plants, but its bullish predictions may be undermined by the planning process and uncertainty over energy subsidies.

Almost all of the UK's municipal waste incinerators were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their fortunes are now on the wane. Nine plants have closed in the past four years alone. And an ENDS survey has found that only five of the remaining 30 may still be in operation after 1996.

EC Directive
The impetus for change has been provided by the 1989 EC Directive on air pollution from existing incinerators (ENDS Report 174, p

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