Tolvik has undertaken a detailed study of near-term residual waste market in London and the South East, outlining potential options available to investors, operators and regulators given what it calls the “very real prospect of a shortfall in non-hazardous landfill capacity”.
The central scenario to the report assumes modest increases in household waste recycling rates, some disruption in RDF exports and the construction of 1.4Mt of new EfW capacity by 2025.
In this scenario the report projects that by 2025 there could be a cumulative shortfall of 4.66Mt in Non-Hazardous Landfill capacity.
Assuming a progressive increase in recycling, significantly greater large scale EfW capacity, the existing Non-Hazardous Landfill capacity is likely to last until just after 2025, it suggests.
The report, however, also points to a potentially limited additional EfW capacity, a major reduction in RDF exports post Brexit with a corresponding capacity shortfall for Non-Hazardous Landfills, which is more than double that projected in central scenario.
The report suggests that for the local authorities south of the Thames, the currently available Non-Hazardous landfill capacity will almost certainly be exhausted before 2025.
The corresponding additional movement of waste round the M25 to the north of London will come at a cost, it says – both economic and environmental – an additional 20,000 vehicle movements each year.
There will therefore continue to be a need for Non-Hazardous Landfill in London and the South East, the reports concludes – to bridge the gap between residual waste generated and the capacity available to treat it and also to provide a disposal option for specialist waste for which there is no alternative waste management solution.