Waste or Valuable Asset?
Waste is considered a Renewable Resource.
Nations are wasteful. Despite the best efforts of of recycling and even with high levels of source segregated waste collections, the majority of household waste still ends up in landfill sites or is incinerated.
Incineration produces vast quantities of ash which, in the UK, is currently sent to landfill because it avoids the general landfill tax, only paying the lower inerts rate. In other words a subsidy.
The Waste Hierarchy demands we recycle our waste to recover the valuable assets. Without a doubt household waste is loaded with valuable assets in the form of ferrous, non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, textiles and organic material.
The secret to realising the value in the waste is to have the ability to economically, reliably, safely and efficiently extract those items of value for commercial gain.
The recent increase in the export refuse derived fuel RDF avoids UK landfill charges and is only viable due to the gate fee differentials charged in various European countries. RDF is full of biomass and plastics and is combusted in power generation stations and cement kilns. It is a waste of valuable resources.