Exports of refuse-derived fuel increase

More evidence has emerged that exports of RDF made from municipal waste is on the rise

More evidence has emerged of the growing trend to export refuse-derived fuel (RDF) made from municipal waste to the continent.

In May, the Environment Agency permitted Shanks to export 40,000 tonnes of RDF from east London to a Dutch incinerator (ENDS Report 424, pp 6-7).

Hills Waste Solutions has confirmed it will send RDF from a planned mechanical-biological treatment plant in Wiltshire to either Germany or Holland.

The plant is due to be operating by the end of 2012 and will treat 60,000t per year of ‘black bag’ waste from Wiltshire council. This will produce 20,000t/y of RDF.

Hills has signed a five-year contract with a major energy-from-waste firm for the material.

Andy Conn, Wiltshire’s head of waste management, said the council was happy for the RDF to be exported because there were currently few UK markets for it. The material has traditionally gone to cement kilns, but the volume they accept has fallen because of the recession.

A Northern Irish waste firm, City Industrial Waste based in Londonderry, is already exporting RDF to cement kilns in Spain and Portugal, according to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. But this is made from commercial and industrial waste.

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