Defra Publishes Refuse Derived Fuel Definition

RDF-DefraAfter working closely with a range of operators with an interest in the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) sector, Defra has developed a definition for RDF that clarifies what is expected of waste described as RDF. 

The definition has been stated as: Refuse derived fuel (RDF) consists of residual waste that is subject to a contract with an end-user for use as a fuel in an energy from waste facility. The contract must include the end-user’s technical specifications relating as a minimum to the calorific value, the moisture content, the form and quantity of the RDF.

It will be trialled with the industry for a six month period, with an aim of helping the Environment Agency regulate the RDF sector so that any waste described as RDF is legitimate and has a definite end-user.

Defra – “The new definition for Refuse Derived Fuel will help reduce the long-term stockpiling and abandoning of waste and the environmental risks this can cause”

This will also help address cases of waste described as RDF being abandoned or causing environmental problems such as leaching, after being stockpiled for long periods. Legitimate businesses in the RDF sector should be unaffected by the definition.

Regulators and operators involved in the RDF sector will be asked to help evaluate the success of the trial, including how effective the definition has been at meeting its objectives, how easy the definition has been to work with and whether the definition has resulted in any additional costs and burdens to legitimate operators and regulators.

A Defra spokesperson said: “We are committed to protecting our environment and getting the most out of our waste.”

“The new definition for Refuse Derived Fuel will help reduce the long-term stockpiling and abandoning of waste and the environmental risks this can cause.”


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