The report, entitled ‘A Wasted Opportunity’, outlines a five-point plan that proposes to use energy produced in the conversion of waste materials, to help the
Ian Arbon, author of the report and chairman of the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Group at IMechE, believes that the only way for the
However, legislation passed in 2002 means that the government is committed to halving its landfill capacity by 2013.
According to IMechE, the
Drawing inspiration from continental models, the report focuses on EfW as a short-to-medium term strategy to reduce the use of landfill sites, decentralise the management of waste and increase the country’s use of renewable energy sources.
An EfW plant works by converting waste into usable energy such as electricity, heating and transport fuels.
There are four main processes used by EfW plants – combustion, gasification, pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion – and the type of waste taken by the plant is dependent on which technology has been chosen.
EfW plants can be used in a wide range of sizes, and suited to local or regional energy production.
The report states that the ‘proximity principle’ should be applied, so that the heat energy from EfW can be used to heat the local community.
In addition, the report asks the Government to view waste as a resource rather than a problem and reserve recycling for waste products that cannot successfully be converted into energy.
Commenting on the importance of this strategy, Arbon said: ‘I believe that we will not meet our targets without energy from waste.
‘We are urging the Government to take leadership in this issue for this to happen.’