18 Dec Policy
There will be a 6 million tonne a year capacity gap for waste infrastructure in the UK by 2030, according to the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the trade organization representing the UK’s resource and waste management industry. ESA stated that recycling rates are unlikely to rise much above current levels, leaving the country 6 million tonnes short of treatment capacity even after the export of waste to Europe. ESA executive director Jacob Hayler said “Without action, this means that five million UK homes will see their waste buried in landfill when it could be used to generate energy.”
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has submitted comments to the World Trade Organization urging China to delay implementation of its waste import restrictions scheduled to take effect in early 2018. SWANA’s comments highlight the significant impact China’s waste import restrictions have already had on municipal solid waste recycling programs in parts of the US and Canada, urging the Chinese government to suspend the implementation of the restrictions until no earlier than January 1, 2022. “With 2018 nearly upon us, recycling programs from coast to coast are being adversely affected by China’s actions,” stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. SWANA’s comments express strong support for China’s efforts to protect and improve their environmental conditions and requests the Chinese government meet with industry stakeholders from the US, Canada, and other exporting countries to develop a mutually satisfactory carried-waste contamination standard and a timeline for implementation, in order to help China achieve its overall environmental health objectives.